BEIJING has for the first time indicated it will accept the Vietnamese illegal immigrants who have been arriving in Hongkong in recent weeks. Another batch of 49 Vietnamese claiming to have come from Beihai, Guangxi, were intercepted by Marine Police yesterday, pushing the number of ethnic Chinese Vietnamese entering the territory this month to 1,123. The representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Hongkong said yesterday his Beijing counterpart had been asked to help in handling and resettling the Vietnamese if they were repatriated. The commission's deputy chief of mission in Hongkong, Kaiser Zaman, said the move indicated Beijing was prepared to take back the Vietnamese. ''I believe the Beijing office will respond as quickly as they can. ''We hope the problem will be resolved as soon as possible and we shall also try to discourage people from moving out from China,'' said Mr Zaman. He said refugees resettled in one place should not move elsewhere. A spokesman for the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva, Fernando Delmundo, said last night that he had not received reports from the Beijing or Hongkong office. ''But it does not mean there is no progress and I believe the local offices are actively trying to resolve the problem,'' he said. A Hongkong Government spokesman welcomed the news and said the administration was trying to verify the identities of the Vietnamese. The Beihai authorities have said they will refuse to accept boat people who cannot be verified as having come from the city. They insisted that those who had been resettled in other provinces should be taken back to those places. The exodus began late last month after the Beihai Government cleared thousands of the roadside shanty huts built by the Vietnamese. The Vietnamese fled to coastal villages in Guangdong by land and then bought fishing boats to sail to Hongkong. They claimed nearly 10,000 of them were prepared to come to Hongkong. There are about 20,000 Vietnamese in Beihai, about half of whom had originally been resettled and offered jobs on farms in other provinces including Hainan, Guangdong, and Fujian. They flocked to Beihai for opportunities because of the rapid economic growth in the city.