Vietnam has warned it will not accept some of Hong Kong's boat people and Britain should be prepared to take responsibility for anyone left stateless as the Territory's camps clear. A senior Foreign Ministry official said some people yet to be cleared for return were not Vietnamese nationals and could not be accepted into the country under Vietnam's laws. 'We are now doing our best to co-operate with Hong Kong and Britain to have everybody return as soon possible - that is our priority - but there are people that we cannot accept . . . we must make that clear,' the official said. 'It is a matter of our laws. Some people are not Vietnamese nationals and we can't receive them. 'We just hope that Hong Kong and Britain can find a rational solution to solve the matter,' the official said in Vietnam's clearest statement yet on the sensitive issue. The official stopped short of saying Vietnam had rejected British appeals to accept those left uncleared on humanitarian grounds, but warned Vietnamese laws were strict on the matter. More than 4,100 boat people among the more than 11,000 in Hong Kong's camps have yet to be cleared, but are described as 'pending' by Hong Kong and Britain. However, several hundred have been on the list for many years and there is little hope for a sudden change to their status. People are described as 'pending' when Vietnamese officials report problems tracing their pasts through a vast bureaucracy of nationality documents, birth, house and family registrations. Applications pass through central, provincial, district and village registries, some of which have been damaged or lost through Vietnam's turbulent past. Most at risk of statelessness are thought to be ethnic Chinese. While Vietnam accepts many of them, others face difficulties reflecting confused, secretive family pasts often involving changed names and even moves to Cambodia and Taiwan. Both Vietnamese and British officials are unsure of the exact number likely to be left, saying new information turns up constantly. It is understood the Foreign Office in London is considering raising the issue with China. Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, chairman of the Legislative Council's Security Panel, said she would seek urgent meetings with Secretary for Security Peter Lai Hing-ling and Refugee Co-ordinator Brian Bresnihan.