A Hong Kong tour group was held hostage in a bus in Manila, capital of the Philippines recently. The standoff ended in bloodbath in which eight Hongkongers lost their lives. The hostage-taker was shot by Filipino commadoes. The incident calls for a security network to be put in place to help Chinese in trouble abroad, says an article on Xinhuanet. Excerpts:
More Chinese are traveling abroad as tourists or on business. Some of them have fallen victim to senseless violence, natural disasters or regional conflicts in recent times.
It demands great expertise and experience to handle such emergencies in a way that can save lives. But such action from the Chinese government faces certain hurdles such as the difference in time and distance, sovereignty of the country where such incidents take place and its competence in handling emergency situations.
China has been intensifying its efforts to protect its citizens traveling abroad by granting consular protection to them, delivering early warnings through the media, including text messages, and perfecting its overseas emergency response mechanism. But the Chinese government's efforts alone are not enough to ensure the safety of its citizens and the handling of such emergencies efficiently and effectively.
A comprehensive security network is thus needed with the necessary participation of other governments to protect Chinese enterprises and citizens abroad. And more importantly, Chinese citizens should know the pros and cons of visiting a certain country or region. Once they are well-informed, they may choose not to travel to disturbed countries or regions to ensure a safe vacation or business trip.