Refugees: The Journey Without End

The Journey Without End

By bus and on foot, the ragged families set out from China's harsh state farms and make their way to the coast. After buying passage with their savings, they sail for Hong Kong. For the second time in eight years, they are refugees. Viet Nam expelled them first; now China has rejected them.

The luckless travelers are ethnic Chinese raised in Viet Nam. In the months leading up to Hanoi's 1979 war with Peking, more than 280,000 of them sought sanctuary in southern China after being ordered out of Viet Nam. Never really accepted in China, many were exploited by the...