Jan 25, 2013

Vietnam - Chinese businessmen collect all kinds of waste in Vietnam

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VietNamNet Bridge – Chinese businessmen have been going to every corner in the Vietnamese land to collect all the things that Vietnamese think are useful and throw away, thus raising doubts about the machinations behind this.

Chinese collecting everything

Chinese businessmen have kicked off a new campaign of collecting dry buffalo dung at the three-way crossroad market in the border area of Vietnam, China and Laos.

Though the sale price is low, just VND60,000 dong for 15 kilos, this is still high enough to prompt Vietnamese farmers to spend their time to collect buffalo dung to sell to Chinese.

In the central province of Nghe An, in May 2012, farmers rushed to the rice fields to hunt for bloodsuckers to sell to Chinese. Since bloodsuckers could go for good prices, farmers in Que Phong district gave up digging yam to hunt for bloodsuckers – a simple job which could bring big money, about VND200,000 per kilo.

In HCM City, people in Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts in late 2011 also rushed to hunt for bloodsuckers to sell to Vietnamese merchants, who then sold to Chinese.

However, the merchants then “disappeared,” leaving the fields full of bloodsuckers, raising fear among farmers.

The “bloodsucker hunting movement” occurred not only in Nghe An and HCM City, but also in many northern provinces as well, which has damaged the ecosystem and the environment.

In the northern province of Thai Nguyen, hunting for leeches has become a new career. Some people reportedly could buy houses and TVs with the money from bloodsuckers. A person in Pho Yen district of Thai Nguyen province said he sold bloodsuckers to merchants at VND900,000 per kilo, but in China, bloodsuckers can be sold at VND 10 million.

In October and November 2012, Chinese businessmen flocked to every commune of Quang Ninh province to collect the leaves of a plant local people called “chu ka.” Not only collecting chu ka leaves, they also convinced local residents to chop down a lot of phong ba trees (Argusia argentea).

Chinese offered to pay VND15,000 per kilo of the tree, which means that local farmers can pocket VND8,000-10,000 dong per kilo – a very attractive profit for them. This prompted a lot of people to give up fishing to take a new job – going to the islands in the open sea to look for phong ba trees, the kind of tree which can help clean the air.

In Lang Son province, in September 2012, groups of local people in Loc Binh district rushed to go to the forest to dig sim (Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Ait.) Hassk) roots to sell to Chinese at VND2,500 per kilo. Local people felt excited with the new and simple job, which could bring the ‘high income” of VND250,000 a day .

What are the machinations?

Chinese have been present in every place in the Vietnamese land, looking for everything they can. This has caused a headache to the local authorities, which know for sure that there are machinations behind the Chinese move, but do not know exactly what they are.

When asked why they collected dry buffalo dung in Dien Bien province, Chinese all answered that they would manure rice fields in their localities.

The people in Que Phong district in Nghe An said they heard Chinese need bloodsuckers to make medicine, but they are not sure about that.

Nguyen Anh Dung, a biology lecturer of the Vinh University, warned that if Chinese stop collecting bloodsuckers, the creatures would damage the ecosystem. “In order to ruin bloodsuckers, one needs to soak them into alcohol and then burn them,” he explained.

Phong Phuong

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