The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines has denied reports that mainland China has put the Philippines on a tourist destination blacklist regarding issues related to the online gaming industry, and issued a statement calling tourism an “important element of China-China practical cooperation.” and the Philippines.”
The statement was released after comments made by Senate President Migues Al-Zubayri, widely reported by local media, who told a hearing earlier this week, “Due to the POGO issue, the Philippines is now blacklisted.” [Chinese] Tourists are discouraged [from going to] to the Philippines.
In response, the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines issued a statement confirming that Ambassador Huang Xilian had met with representatives of the Senate, but denied blacklisting the country in any way. However, she has reiterated her opposition to the POGO industry in the Philippines.
“According to Chinese law and regulations, Chinese citizens gambling abroad, and opening casinos to attract Chinese citizens as primary customers, constitutes gambling crimes,” the statement read.
“Criminal responsibility can be pursued according to the provisions of the Chinese criminal law. The Chinese government and law enforcement authorities take strict measures to combat all forms of gambling.
Most of the recent crimes targeting Chinese nationals in the Philippines are related to POGO. The Chinese Government cares for and protects the safety and legitimate interests of every Chinese citizen abroad.
“The Chinese Embassy has been in close contact with Philippine law enforcement agencies and has strengthened cooperation in eliminating POGO-related criminal activities against Chinese nationals in the Philippines.
“We appreciate that relevant Philippine law enforcement agencies rescued a number of Chinese nationals and shut down some POGO companies during their operations.
“Crimes caused and related to POGO not only harm the interests of China and the relations between China and the Philippines, but also harm the interests of the Philippines. Therefore, it is widely believed that the social costs of POGO far outweigh the long-term economic benefits of the Philippines, and POGO must be addressed from the roots from in order to address social ills in a comprehensive manner.
To further explain the “tourism blacklist” remarks, tourism is an important component of China-Philippines practical cooperation that has helped deepen the long-standing friendship between the two peoples.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly two million Chinese citizens traveled to the Philippines in 2019, making China the second largest source of tourists. We expect more Chinese tourists to arrive in this country after the epidemic.”
While the Philippines is currently safe, a blacklist of outbound tourism destinations was announced by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2019, which at the time claimed these destinations were disrupting the country’s outbound tourism market by opening casinos targeting the mainland. . Chinese customers.