A freighter unloads coal at Qinhuangdao, Hebei province. (File photo/Xinhua)
Chinese companies are going all out to ship raw materials from Vietnam to China, according to local news agency Vietnamnet.
The companies are devoting their capital, equipment and expertise to Vietnamese mining companies and often offer higher prices than Vietnamese companies to secure the natural resources.
There were too many loopholes that allow Vietnamese firms to export raw materials to China and make large profits in doing so, say the authorities. Some local miners illegally mine excessive amounts of minerals which go unrecorded when they are shipped to China.
Both legal and illegal coal is shipped to private harbors for export to China. Even authorized coal providers send most of their coal to China rather than to local cement factories or power stations as they are contracted to do. Other minerals such as manganese and lead are also shipped to China under the cover of local contracts, according to Global Times, a tabloid produced under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party.
If Vietnam's government cannot get a grip on the illicit trade in minerals, the country's natural mineral wealth may be exhausted in the next 40-60 years, according to geologists.