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  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 1:40pm

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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This article is now closed to comments

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".
Another dislike without explanation. A void.
I thought the mainland was responsible for foreign affairs in Hong Kong....are they now handing back to the HKSAR the right of direct foreign affairs negotiations?
for 'HK Chief Executive' read 'mayor of Hong Kong'
this puts it in perspective as to what Democratically elected rulers place the urgency to act



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