MORE than 200 ethnic Chinese boat people have lost their bid to be screened for refugee status and resettlement. The migrants who came to hear the Court of Appeal's verdict were led away in handcuffs after two of the three judges rejected their bid. Pam Baker of Refugee Concern said the asylum seekers would now consider taking their case to the Privy Council. She said their chances were improved by the judges' failure to arrive at a unanimous verdict. Mr Justice Bokhary held the dissenting vote. He said that, although their chances of victory were slim, the ethnic Chinese migrants deserved a chance to make their case. 'Although I stop short of saying that they have no chance, I have warned them that their chances are slim.' But Mr Justice Mortimer and Mr Justice Mayo concluded the migrants had 'no chance at all' of winning refugee status. The asylum seekers are ethnic Chinese who fled to the mainland during upheaval in Vietnam in the late 1970s. They are due to be repatriated to China under a recent agreement between Hong Kong and Beijing. In reaching his decision, Mr Justice Mayo cited the 'solemn commitment' made by China to allow the migrants to settle there. But Ms Baker said other Chinese ethnics living in the mainland were not being registered. Most of the 228 asylum seekers came from the coastal village of Bei Hai, where they had scratched out a living since their arrival in China. They fled to Hong Kong in the early 1990s, after developers bulldozed their homes. They have been held in detention camps since. The Government claimed there was no need to screen them for refugee status under the Immigration Ordinance as they had first settled in China after leaving Vietnam.