For information
on 18 December 1997

Provisional Legislative Council
Panel on Security

Meeting on 18 December 1997

Vietnamese Refugees (VRs)/Vietnamese Migrants (VMs)/Vietnamese Illegal Immigrants (VIIs)

Progress on the Comprehensive Review on the policy on VRs/VMs/VIIs

At the meeting of the Panel on Security on 16 October 1997, the Administration undertook to brief the Panel on the progress of the comprehensive review before the end of the year.

2.Whilst the primary aim of the current review is to develop strategies in resolving the problem of the remaining VRs and VMs and in tackling the problem of VIIs, we are also looking into a fairly wide range of issues relating to the whole VR/VM/VII problem. These include the " port of first asylum " policy, Part IIIA of the Immigration Ordinance, the UNHCR debt, and the future of the Pillar Point Vietnamese Refugee Centre.

3.Members of the Panel may wish to be informed that the conduct of the current comprehensive review has been progressing well. Over the past few months, various options in dealing with the problems have been explored and examined and strategies are being developed to tackle the various issues. Strategies developed in the earlier stages of the review are being revised and modified to take account of changing circumstances and the results of on-going discussions with concerned parties. The conduct of the overall comprehensive review is now at an advanced stage, and the Administration hopes to be able to brief the Panel at its next meeting in January 1998 on the conclusions of the review.

4.It should be reiterated that the current review covers a number of sensitive and complicated issues, and that the premature unveiling of any proposed strategies would not be conducive to their successful implementation, and may even seriously undermine the Administration's position in future negotiations with outside parties.

Security Bureau
Government Secretariat
11 December 1997