China issues warning against Philippines travel after deaths of Chinese tourists

08:23, August 25, 2010      

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China's National Tourism Administration (NTA) issued a statement Tuesday strongly condemning a bus hijacking in the Philippines Monday, which ended in the deaths of eight tourists from Chinese Hong Kong.

Chinese tourists should be prudent in considering traveling to the Philippines, said the statement posted on the NTA website.

For those Chinese tourists already in the Philippines, the NTA reminded them to take note of security conditions and strengthen their personal protective measures.

The NTA suggested Chinese tourists go to the local police or contact the Chinese embassy in the Philippines in case of emergencies.

The phone numbers of the Chinese embassy in the Philippines is 0063-2-8482409, 0063-9178972695.

The telephone number of the Chinese Consulate General in Cebu is 0063-32-2563456.

The telephone number of the Chinese Consulate General in Laoag is 0063-9178051226.

Chinese tourists can also contact the center of consular protection of the Foreign Ministry at its hotline, 010-65964088, said the NTA statement.

The Chinese government demanded a thorough investigation on how the tragedy was handled and urged the Philippines government to take concrete measures to ensure the safety and security of Chinese citizens in the Philippines following the hostage crisis.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday told Chinese ambassador Liu Jianchao that his government is ready to implement measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and to provide all necessary assistance to the survivors and relatives of the victims who have since flown to Manila.

At around 9 am on Monday, August 23, 21 tourists from Hong Kong were taken hostage in Manila, the Philippines. Attaching great importance to the incident, the Chinese Government immediately made contact with the Philippine government and requested them to undertake all-out rescue efforts on the condition that the safety of the hostages was ensured, according to Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu on Tuesday.

The Chinese embassy in the Philippines has stayed in communication with the Philippine side. After hard negotiations, six Hong Kong tourists were released before noon.

At around 7:40 pm Monday, the Philippine police began a raid to rescue the remaining hostages.

On Tuesday, eight of the remaining 15 Hong Kong tourists were confirmed dead, two severely injured and five whose conditions remain unknown, according to Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a statement, the Chinese Government condemned the brutality of the criminal who took the hostages and expressed deep condolences over the death of Hong Kong compatriots and sympathy to the families of the victims.

The Chinese Government has decided to immediately send a working group to the Philippines to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy. Competent Chinese authorities will stay in close contact with the Philippine government and the Hong Kong SAR Government in an effort to return the wounded and properly handle ensuing issues.

Source: Xinhua


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