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Work Begins on $3bn Tourism Complex on Cat Ba Island, Threatening National Park

Sun Group has begun construction of a US$3 billion resort and entertainment complex on Cat Ba Island in northern Vietnam.

Work on the project began last Saturday, Tuoi Tre reports. The first move is a 21-kilometer-long cable car system that will connect the towns of Cat Hai and Cat Ba. 

According to the news source, Sun Group's massive development will also include three golf courses, an amusement park and facilities to encourage tourism at Qua Vang Cave, Lan Ha Bay, Viet Hai Village and Cat Ong Island.

Cat Ba, located west of Ha Long Bay, is recognized as a biosphere reserve, and the island's national park protects rare animals and plant species such as the Cat Ba langur, one of the rarest primate species in the world. 

Le Khac Nam, vice chairman of the Hai Phong People's Committee, which oversees the area, told the newspaper that Sun Group and local officials surveyed the land which will be developed multiple times, while feedback was also collected from local residents.

The official shared that construction will only take place on outer areas of the island, away from the biosphere reserve. Nam also claimed that the resort project is key to developing tourism on the island.

"Upon completion, the project will surely transform Cat Ba into a world-class tourist destination," he told Tuoi Tre

However Hoang Van Thap, director of Cat Ba National Park, explained to the news source that he was not asked to provide any input before work began on the project. Thap was also unaware that some construction would be built within the grounds of the national park, according to the news outlet.

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