Vietnam has assured the United States there will not be a renewed flood of refugees forced out of the country.
GV: Chinese aircraft on tarmac at Don Muang airport, Bangkok.
SV INTERIOR: Refugees sitting around in airport terminal including young children, babies with mothers and men (5 shots)
GV ZOOM INTO SV; Refugees' baggage being loaded onto plane
SV: Chinese flag on tail of plane
GV: Plane being pushed by vehicle onto tarmac
CU: Members the Chinese Red Cross looking from airport lounge window
GV: Chinese aircraft down runway and takes off
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Background: Vietnam has assured the United States there will not be a renewed flood of refugees forced out of the country. The United States Coordinator for Refugee Affairs, Mr. Victory Palmieri said on Wednesday (16 January) the Vietnamese had denied reports from Hong Kong that criminal syndicates were again being allowed to organise traffic in refugees wanting to leave Vietnam. He was told Vietnam was keeping its pledge NOT to force out refugees. Meanwhile in Thailand the first Indochinese refugees to be resettled in a Communist country have left Bangkok for China.
SYNOPSIS: A Chinese charter plane was used on Tuesday (15 January) to ferry the 181 refugees -- almost all of them Locations -- from Bangkok to Canton. They're the first of about eighteen hundred Indochinese refugees scheduled to leave over the next two weeks to be resettled on China's Hainan Island. Most were women and children, with sixty-five of them under four years of age. Refugee Agency Officials said they would live on three state farms, which would be assisted financially by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Ethnic Laotians predominate among the eighteen hundred so far selected by a Chinese Red Cross team but a small number of ethnic Chinese from Kampuchea and Vietnam are also included. China has agreed to resettle ten, thousand Indochinese refugees, six thousand from Thailand and two thousand each from malaysia and Hong Kong.
The United States Coordinator for Refugee Affairs has warned that a further half million Kampucheans on the Thai border, could become refugees unless problems in their battle-torn country reached a quick solution.