MANILA, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Embassy in Manila on Thursday urged the Philippines to strengthen law enforcement cooperation with China to combat gambling-related crimes in order to effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.
The Chinese government always requires its citizens overseas to abide by local laws and regulations and not to work illegally in foreign countries, said a statement issued by the embassy.
Citing Chinese laws and regulations, the embassy said, "any form of gambling by Chinese citizens, including online-gambling, gambling overseas, opening casinos overseas to attract citizens of China as primary customers, is illegal."
It said that the casinos and offshore gaming operators and other forms of gambling entities in the Philippines target Chinese citizens as their primary customers.
"A large number of Chinese citizens have been illegally recruited and hired in the Philippine gambling industry," the statement added.
A series of crimes, including cross-border money laundering through underground banking, undermine China's financial supervision and financial security, it said, adding that the fact that several Chinese citizens are lured into illegal gambling has resulted in an increase of crimes and social problems in China.
China "hopes and urges relevant departments of the Philippine Government to pay more attention to China's position and concerns and take concrete and effective measures to prevent and punish the Philippine casinos, POGOs (Philippine offshore gaming operators) and other forms of gambling entities for their illegal employment of Chinese citizens," the statement said.
China has also called on the Philippines' government to work with China to jointly combat gambling-related crimes that include money-laundering, illegal employment, kidnapping, extortion and torture.