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China's Hu offers condolences to Manila victims, meets H.K. tycoon.

HONG KONG, Sept. 6 Kyodo

Chinese President Hu Jintao offered condolences to victims of a deadly bus hijacking in the Philippines on Aug. 23 when he met Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang on Monday.

Tsang's office that said before Hu attended a celebration marking the anniversary of Shenzhen getting special economic zone status he ''expressed condolence to family members of the deceased and survivors of the hostage taking incident in Manila. The central government will continue to support the (Hong Kong government) in handling the aftermath.''

A disgruntled former policeman seized a tour bus with 25 people on board in Manila, including 21 Hong Kong tourists, in a bid for reinstatement in the police force.

Almost 12 hours later, after allegedly killing eight hostages and wounding seven others, he was shot dead by police.

Officers from a Philippines investigation team arrived in Hong Kong on Monday to interview victims of the hijacking.

Shenzhen, the southern mainland city boomed after China's then leader Deng Xiaoping ordered it be the testing ground for his reform policies 30 years ago, greeted state leaders and Hong Kong's richest tycoon Li Ka-shing on the anniversary Monday.

Hu said the Shenzhen special economic zone made important contributions to the country's reform and opening-up, the state-run Xinhua News reported.

Hu also met Li, ranked last year by Forbes Asia magazine with a

$21.3 billion fortune, and praised Li's contribution in Shenzhen.

Li was the only representative from Hong Kong invited to deliver a speech at the ceremony, Hong Kong's Cable TV said.

According to the government website, Shenzhen was established in 1980 as China's first special economic zone.

Turning from an agricultural-based city into southern China's manufacturing hub, Shenzhen grew quickly, especially over the past two decades.

In 2009, Shenzhen's gross domestic product rose 10.7 percent from a year earlier to 820 billion yuan ($120.4 billion).
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Sep 7, 2010
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