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|Monday, August 27, 2001, updated at 11:17(GMT+8)|
Funeral Plans Finalized for Killed ChineseA funeral ceremony is to be held in Manila tomorrow to pay respects to the two Chinese kidnapped by Muslim gunmen and killed in a shoot-out between the Filipino army and the gunmen in the southern province of Sultan Kudarat last Sunday.
The two Chinese - Zhang Zhongqiang and Xue Xing - were employed by the China Electric Power Technology Import and Export Corp to work on an irrigation project in Carmen town in North Cotabato, a neighbouring province of Sultan Kudarat.
Wang Chungui, Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, together with the company's representatives and the families of Zhang and Xue, will attend the funeral ceremony, according to officials in the Chinese Embassy in Manila.
Wang Shengli, another hostage who escaped during the gunfight on August 19, returned to China last Friday.
But Zhang Zhongqiang's brother Zhang Zhongyi, together with a local Filipino Chinese, Edwin Lim, are still in the hands of the kidnappers.
China has urged the Phillipine Government to spare no effort to rescue Zhang Zhongyi, and to ensure the security of other Chinese nationals in the Phillipine, according to a Xinhua report.
According to a news report yesterday, the Chinese construction firm has told the Philippines it is ready to resume work on the irrigation project in the rebellion-racked south but has asked for extra security.
Officials with the headquarters of the China Electric Power Technology Import and Export Corp were not available for comment yesterday in Beijing.
Work on the 2.5-billion-peso (US$449 million) project was halted after the two were killed.
Deputy general manager, Shao Wei, of the Chinese company, was quoted as saying in a letter to the Philippines' National Irrigation Administration (NIA) that work was suspended to allow the Chinese workers a period of mourning but that they were ready to return to the project.
"We can reach our common target of irrigating at least 3,000 hectares of farm lands by September 30 if the security can be fully and carefully guaranteed on the job site and construction area," Wei wrote, according to NIA officials.
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