The Chinese Embassy has denied the report made by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier this Monday regarding the Philippines being placed under China’s tourism blacklist.
Senate President Migz Zubiri erroneously announced that the Philippines had been placed under China’s tourism blacklist due to China’s looming concerns over the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO).
“The Philippines now is part of a blacklist of tourist sites because they do not know if the tourist will be joining POGO operations and they do not know if the Chinese nationals who go to the Philippines will be safe from illegal activities being done by the triad, by the syndicates operating POGO. They may also be kidnapped, mistaken as POGO operators,” Zubiri cited.
However, the Chinese Embassy clarified that this report was misinformed and that the Philippines has NOT been blacklisted as a tourist destination, citing the importance of tourism between the Philippines and China: “Tourism is an important component of practical cooperation between China and the Philippines which has helped further deepen long-time friendship between the two peoples.”
The embassy said in a statement: “Before the Covid-19 pandemic, close to two million Chinese nationals traveled to the Philippines in 2019, making China the second largest source of tourists.”
In a response to the embassy’s latest statement, Zubiri told reporters, “Don’t shoot the messenger. Again, it was the ambassador who said the tourism blacklist, not any one of us, as he discussed how it could affect tourism. So maybe he meant future tense and not present tense.”
Zubiri claimed that this information came to light in a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian.