|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu's Remarks on the Abduction of Hong Kong Tourists in the Philippines|
At around 9 am, 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 representations with the Philippine side and required the latter to undertake all-out rescue efforts on condition that the safety of the hostages was ensured. 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, the Philippine police began a raid to rescue the hostages. By the time of the release of this message, eight of the remaining 15 Hong Kong tourists were confirmed dead, two severely injured and five yet to be confirmed.
The Chinese Government condemns the brutality of the criminal and expresses 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. Competent Chinese authorities will stay in close contact with the Philippine side and the Hong Kong SAR Government in an effort to rescue the wounded and properly handle ensuing issues.
China has asked the Philippine side to take concrete measures to ensure the safety of life and property of Chinese citizens in the Philippines.