“We’re still engaged in a bitter battle to eliminate cross-border human trafficking, which arises out of unbalanced economic development and loopholes in social management,” Chen Shiqu, deputy director of the ministry’s Criminal Inves­tigation Department, said recently.

Chinese and Vietnamese police have agreed to promptly exchange information and clues, and to conduct joint investigations in their efforts to smash major human trafficking rings.

They are tightening border management and intensifying inspections along the border to close channels for human trafficking, he said.

They are also focused on improving the efficiency of their cooperation in investigating, evidence gathering, capturing and repatriating suspects, and rescuing victims.

In recent years, a number of mostly poor Vietnamese women from rural areas have been kidnapped and smuggled into China to enter into forced marriages or prostitution. Some were tricked into coming by promises of large salaries, according to the ministry.

Chen said the victims were often sold as brides or forced to provide sexual services in clandestine dens in coastal or border areas in, among others, Guangdong and Yunnan provinces as well as the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

“Chinese traffickers have long collaborated with Vietnamese associates in the trade,” he said.

Gangs are formed with members tasked with recruiting, arranging the smuggling and visa services, and contacting buyers to form a complete criminal chain.

The cost of a Vietnamese woman ranges from 60,000 to 100,000 yuan (RM37,600 to RM62,700), depending on her age and appearance.

Chen said China had set up an annual meeting of senior officials to combat international trafficking. Eight border offices with neighbouring countries, including four offices in Vietnam, have also been set up.

“Chinese authorities will take great care to protect the legitimate rights of the rescued female victims and will see to their settlement in temporary shelters and ultimate repatriation,” he added.

China Daily/Asia News Network - May 23, 2017