The border gate in Mong Cai district of Quang Ninh province has been closed for the last month, thus making the cross-border goods exchange stagnant.

Vietnamese goods owners said the Chinese authorities have sent thousands of officers to the new inspection stations installed along the border line. This is for the first time in the last many years China prohibits goods to go across the border. In the past, the bans were applied several times, but goods still go through the border at some certain hours of the day.

At the border gates and the customs clearance points, very few goods were seen loaded to the ships on August 9 and 10. Meanwhile, there was nearly no container vehicle in circulation on the same days on the Highway No. 18.

According to the Mong Cai City People’s Committee, by August 9, 3800 containers of goods of different kinds, including 1314 cold containers, had got stuck at the border gate.

An enterprise specializing in importing goods temporarily for re-export later to China reportedly had to ruin the consignments of frozen food which had got stuck at the border gate for one month. An executive of the company said the company had no other choice, because it did not have money to pay for the electricity to keep the products frozen.

The cross-border import-export activities have also become quiet since June at Tan Thanh border gate in Lang Son. The Chinese authorities have strengthened the goods inspection, people and transport vehicles, and intensified food quarantine. Earlier this year, about 300-400 vehicles carrying goods crossed the border a day. Meanwhile, the figure dropped to 200 in early August.

As for the Chi Ma border gate in Lang Son province, Vietnamese goods also have not been exported because the Chinese authorities have reinforced the control over the temporary imports to Vietnam for re-export later to China. At present, only some kinds of farm product, including cassava starch, still have been exported to China.

In Lao Cai province, the rubber and sugar exports to China have also dropped dramatically due to the new cross-border trade policies applied by the Chinese side.

The Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade has affirmed that the slowdown in the export of goods to China should not be attributed to the Vietnamese side. The relevant agencies at the border provinces have always been creating most favorable conditions for enterprises to make trade, while Vietnamese enterprises have been completely capable to clear the goods.

The ministry has affirmed that Vietnamese exports to China have been decreasing significantly in both the volume and turnover.

In the first seven months of the year, the exports going through the Mong Cai border gate reached 2.607 billion dollars, just equal to 79 percent of that of the same period of the last year.

The reason behind the exports slowdown is the reinforcement of the supervision, anti-smuggling and quarantine activities. One or two such campaigns are carried out by the Chinese side every year, each of which lasts one or two months.

However, the latest campaign has been lasting four months already, and it is believed to last until the 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress in October finishes.

China only focuses on its activities to fight against smuggling within its territorial area. Meanwhile, there has been no sign of Chinese changing its trade policy with Vietnam.

VietNamNet - Augsut 22, 2012