Vietnam's "Boat People"
DOI link for Vietnam's "Boat People"
Vietnam's "Boat People" book
Confronted with mounting evidence of responsibility for the massive outflow of refugees, officials of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam have nonetheless persisted in their public denials of any complicity in the exodus. The issue of citizenship, mentioned by Major Bong and others as the impetus behind the mass exodus of Hoa from Vietnam is of crucial importance. In line with China's charges against Vietnam some saw a cleverly orchestrated attempt by Vietnam to induce their departure by raising the nationality issue, conducting a campaign against ill-gotten property and finally spreading vicious rumors. China's defense of Hoa interests in Vietnam had served only to heighten Vietnamese suspicions, some would say their paranoia, of the potential role the Hoa might play in the event of a full-fledged confrontation with China. The privileges the government accorded Hoa which enabled them to leave legally contrast sharpest when compared with the circumstances of ethnic Vietnamese determined to flee regardless of the chances of survival.