Since November 1, more than 3,700 legal immigrants from The People's Republic of China have crossed the border at Lowu into the British colony of Hong Kong.
SV Lowu bridge
SV Immigrants into reception centre
SV Immigrants boarding train
SV INTERIOR SHOT Train
LV TRAVELLING SHOT Hong Kong
SV Railway station
SV Immigrants out of station (4 shots)
Initials BB/1843 TM/JB/BB/1856
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Since November 1, more than 3,700 legal immigrants from The People's Republic of China have crossed the border at Lowu into the British colony of Hong Kong.
The large number of Chinese immigrants, the biggest single exodus from China since 1968, has caused great concern to local authorities in Hong Kong. The British Government, it was reported, formally asked Peking to restrict the number of people allowed to come to Hong Kong early this week.
Since then, the number of immigrants crossing the border bridge at Lowu has drooped dramatically. On Tuesday (13 November), 78 Chinese immigrants arrived in Hong Kong. The previous week, the daily average was 350.
Most of the immigrants are overseas Chinese, who left China in 1949 and returned in the 1960's. Many have relatives in Hong Kong, but those who do nor are posing a housing problem for the authorities.
Forty-eight thousand Chinese immigrants are reported to have entered the colony since the beginning of the year. Some are expected to emigrate further into South-East Asia, but most will remain in Hong Kong.
The government is considering two sites as possible resettlement areas -- the New Territories and Lantao Island, a relatively undeveloped area west of Hong Kong. The influx has increased the overcrowded colony's population by I.B. per cent this year.
The government has described the immigrants as "mostly unskilled, aged or very young, who would contribute little to the economy and would require extensive public assistance including placement in suitable jobs."