BEIJING, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government Monday strongly condemned the hostage-taking of Chinese tourists by a former police officer in Manila and demanded the Philippine government thoroughly investigate the incident.
A bus with 21 Hong Kong tourists aboard was hijacked in the Philippine capital of Manila Monday morning. After negotiations, six hostages were freed. On Monday night, Philippine police launched a rescue operation and a number of hostages were killed and injured.
In a press release, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi had telephoned his Philippine counterpart Alberto Romulo on the hostage-taking incident.
During the conversation, Yang said the Chinese government had been highly concerned over the incident and had asked the Philippine government to spare no efforts in carrying out the rescue operation under the prerequisite of guaranteeing the safety of hostages.
Yang said that the Chinese government was shocked about the incident, deplored the slaying of Hong Kong tourists, and strongly condemned the brutality against innocent tourists.
The Chinese government demands the Philippine government launch a thorough investigation into the incident and inform the Chinese side of related details as soon as possible, he said.
The Chinese government also demands the Philippine government do all it can to save the injured hostages and properly handle the remaining problems of the incident, Yang said.
The Chinese government will soon dispatch a working team to the Philippines to deal with relevant matters, he said, adding that the Chinese government demands the Philippine government take practical measures to protect the safety of Chinese citizens and their properties.
For his part, Romulo said the Philippine government felt deep sorrow for the incident and would do what it can to treat the injured.
He promised to carry out a complete investigation into the incident and convey the results to the Chinese side as soon as possible.
He also promised to provide assistance for the work of China's working team.
The two sides agreed to keep close communication and cooperation in handling the aftermath of the incident.