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  • Sep 16, 2014
  • Updated: 10:46pm

Li Keqiang

Li Keqiang, born in 1955, became China's premier in March 2013. Like ex-president Hu Jintao, his power base lies with the Communist Youth League, where he was a member of the secretariat of the league’s central committee in the 1980s and later in the 1990s the secretariat’s first secretary. His regional governance experience includes a period as vice party boss, governor and party boss of Henan province between 1998 and 2003 and party boss of Liaoning province beginning in 2004. He became vice premier in 2008. Li graduated from Peking University with a degree in economics. 

NewsHong Kong

Li pressures Aquino to resolve the bus hostage row

Families of victims say Li's call for resolution is a 'breakthrough'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 10:14am


  • Yes: 21%
  • No: 79%
11 Oct 2013
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 314

Premier Li Keqiang has urged Philippine President Benigno Aquino to resolve the row over the Manila bus hostage crisis as soon as possible, taking the impasse to a new diplomatic level.

Families of the victims and political analysts described it as a "breakthrough" and believed it would put pressure on the Philippines.

But one observer noted that given the tensions between the two countries over territorial claims in the South China Sea it might not have an immediate impact.

According to a report by the China News Service, Li had a brief conversation with Aquino in a VIP room during the East Asia Summit on Wednesday.

Li said the incident had "dragged on for long" enough and had "affected the feelings of the people in China, especially the compatriots in Hong Kong", the report said. Li said he hoped the Philippine government would resolve the incident reasonably and fairly.

Aquino said a probe carried out by the Philippines was continuing and the Philippines would strive to handle the incident properly.

Li also explained to Aquino China's principles and stance over their sovereignty dispute in the South China Sea, the report said.

The conversations took place after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told Aquino during a 40-minute meeting on Monday night that unless the matter was resolved properly it would continue to stand in the way of normal relations between Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Aquino agreed that ministerial meetings should take place as soon as possible to discuss how to follow up the matter, but refused to apologise.

The hostage tragedy happened in August 2010 when policeman Rolando Mendoza took 22 Hongkongers hostage on a tour bus and shot eight dead before being killed himself.

Tse Chi-kin, elder brother of slain tour guide Masa Tse Ting-chunn, said it was a breakthrough that the premier talked to Aquino in a forceful way.

"It is definitely a good thing. In the past three years, the president [Aquino] has not respected us at all," Tse said.

Democratic Party lawmaker James To Kun-sun, who has been assisting victims' families, interpreted Li's remarks as a warning to the Philippine government.



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Why Hong Kong, U.S., and Other Freer Economies Can Justifiably Ban/Restrict Free-Riding RP in the Name of Reciprocity
PCC, for your information, Mendoza is not the only responsible party. The last mayor of Manila, Mr. Alfredo Lim (who is a family friend of Aquino), knowing full well that Mendoza could see it all on television news, ordered the arrest of Mendoza's brother, which prompted him to start shooting. Puno (Aquino's best friend), who was appointed by Aquino as the one in charge of the Metro Manila Philippine National Police was enjoying himself having dinner at a restaurant during the shootings. We all witnessed the botch rescue operation - a classic example of all that should not be done during a hostage rescue. They were in fact like a bunch of kindergarten kids.
Aquino did not punish his friends, although in their own findings both Alfredo Lim and Puno were held responsible. All they got was a slap on the waist (which is a mis-use of Presidential powers and is a kind of corruption).
Yes the community of Hong Kong should take up the cause of the families in a civilized way, after all, it is this corrupt Filipino Government and not the Filipino people who are responsible. It is this corrupt Filipino Government and not the Filipino people who needs to apologize to Hong Kong, and to pay a compensation to the families.
Negotiating with Aquino is like going to a zoo and trying to reason with a monkey. Try using a cattle probe instead.
Philippino government is doubtlessly completely in fault in terms of letting this tragedy happen in their place and not giving apology to the victims' families afterwards. Though there must be a strong emotion amongst us, we must not go beyond the line as a civilized community in whatever action we are going to take to express ourselves.
If the Philipines government weren't so arrogant in the first place 3 years ago, firstly by denying their wrongdoings and amateurish rescue action this issue would have been resolved already long time ago.
Arrogance fortified by the naive belief the US will stand with them in decisions made in Asia without realizing they are but just one of many pawns on the chess board for the US, who will not get embroil in this tragedy with a 10 foot pole.
Aquino's arrogance allow the wily CY Leung to sprung the trap (obvious disrespect shown and allowed by SAR gov't during APEC meeting between the two leaders) for Premier Li to step in.
What are we expecting from Aquino? For him to say something like “Sorry, HK, for that mess. It was the fault of the Philippines and we’re going to compensate those families affected”?
I doubt an leader of any nation is ever going to say anything remotely close to that.
We should expect a country to apologize and compensate by whatever means. After the Boston Marathon bombing, US President ordered flags to half-staff and the city mayor took up the role to console and organized fund raising to compensate the victims including a Chinese student. It is just a plain civilized behavior one can and should do. I can say anything short of acknowledgement of the tragedy is disrespect equally to the dead and alive alike.
It’s not valid to compare the Boston Marathon bombing to the Manila Hostage event. The bombs were detonated not because of police inadequacy or the local government failing to control media coverage. There’s nothing to apologize for at any layer of government.

Anyway, it’s unrealistic that President Aquino will apologize or offer compensation. It would make him look weak to his nation. No national leader would ever take that path. And besides, it’s not his apology and compensation to make and give.

Imagine if this happened in NYC rather than Manila. Would anyone really expect Obama to apologize on behalf of the entire United States of America and to offer compensation paid directly from the US treasury? Absolutely not. We would expect Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD to apologize and offer compensation.
After all, they would be in charge of the rescue operation and media coverage control. Perhaps the funds would come from Washington and Obama would have to approve it, but those would be their internal issues to deal with. The President would offer nothing more than a statement of condemnation for the gunman and some words of condolences to HK.

What I mean is that by going after the President of Manila, we’re being over-zealous and barking up the wrong tree.

Oh, and the “dislike” issue? I never click those buttons. Since this is the Internet with trolls galore, your time would be much better spent if you don’t track your “likes” and “dislikes".




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