China is concerned about the fate of more than 1,200 Chinese people who have been arrested by Philippines police during a crackdown on online gambling in the capital city of Manila.
It is also reported that the Foreign Ministry said that this incident might tarnish the relationship between the two countries. A spokesperson from the ministry also said that Beijing has requested Philippines to make arrangements at the earliest for those who have been detained and release the individuals who have legal identification, the Straits Times reported.
"At the same time, China expresses concern over the large number of Chinese citizens detained by the Philippines," said the spokesperson. Though the Chinese nationals were arrested during a crackdown on online gambling in call centre-like facilities, it is not clear if they are detained for gambling offences or immigration violations. However, online gambling is subject to permit and zoning regulations and is not illegal in Philippines.
Philippine police reported that around 900 out of 1200 people have been taken to the immigration detention centre in Manila after being arrested from facilities suspected of doing gambling business out of Clark Air Base, which is a Philippine Air Force base on Luzon Island.
China, which is one of the few countries which supported Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte's brutal drug war and the extrajudicial killings, vehemently opposed the arrests and urged the Southeast Asian country to take adequate measures to resolve the issue.