Chinese FM spokeswoman welcomes consensus on Hong Kong hostage crisis in Philippines

20:34, December 21, 2010      

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A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Tuesday welcomed the consensus between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and the Philippines government concerning August's deadly hostage crisis.

Philippines Tourism Secretary Alberto A. Lim visited Hong Kong last week to rebuild confidence after the kidnapping tragedy in Manila that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead.

During Lim's visit, the Hong Kong SAR government and the Philippine side discussed the incident and reached common ground, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said citing a Hong Kong SAR government notice.

"We hopes relevant measures will be implemented at an early date," Jiang told a regular briefing without giving further details.

Lim's visit ended with Philippines' pledges to deliver a second investigation report in February and to pay compensation to the victims' families. The country also promised to improve security for tourists.

At a press briefing Thursday, Lim said the Philippines will pay the victims' families consolation money in the form of cash or scholarship.

Hong Kong Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee, who met with Lim, said the Philippines government has filed criminal charges against the responsible officials, adding that Lim promised that Philippines authorities will "vigorously pursue proceedings."

To lure back shocked tourists, the Philippines government recently announced a series of measures to address security for tourists.

During Lim's visit, he pledged the Philippines' continued cooperation with the Hong Kong SAR government inquiry into the incident, Lee said.

On Aug. 23, a sacked Philippines police officer hijacked a bus with 21 Hong Kong tourists aboard.

The 11-hour hostage crisis ended in a bloody carnage when police bungled a rescue operation. Eight Hong Kong tourists were killed in the mayhem.

The incident was televised live in Hong Kong and shocked many, prompting thousands of tourists to cancel plans to travel to Philippines resorts.

Source: Xinhua
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