Two Chinese diplomats were killed Wednesday, and a third was wounded, in a shooting at a restaurant in the central Philippine city of Cebu, the authorities in Manila said.The diplomats were having a birthday lunch at the Lighthouse Restaurant around 1:20 p.m. when a man, a citizen of China and a guest at the celebration, opened fire, the police said.
The two diplomats who were killed were aides to Song Ronghua, 53, the Chinese consul general in Cebu, who was wounded in the attack. Mr. Song was taken to a nearby hospital, where he remained Wednesday evening, in stable condition.
The victims were identified by the police as Shen Sun, 59, the deputy consul general, and Li Hui, who served as a finance officer at the consulate.
The assailant, who was identified by the police as Li Qinglong, was arrested. The police had also detained his wife, Gou Jing, a Chinese national, in connection with the shooting.
Initially, the police said the suspect was a woman married to a consular official. But late Wednesday, after reviewing security-camera footage of the shooting, the police determined it was Mr. Li who had fired the weapon, said Rey Lyndon Lawas, a police spokesman.
“The gunman just stood up and shot the two people to his right, and then he shot the person right across from him,” Mr. Lawas said. The police recovered a .45-caliber pistol from the restaurant.
Mr. Lawas said the police were still investigating the motive for the shooting. Officials from the Chinese Embassy in Manila were scheduled to arrive late Wednesday to help interpret, he said.
Mr. Song, 53, a career diplomat, recently took office as the consul general in Cebu, where he was on the front lines of China’s efforts to improve relations with the Philippines. The two countries have sparred over territorial claims in the South China Sea. At a conference last month, Mr. Song said China and the Philippines had “no excuses to quarrel,” according to local reports.
Calls to the office of the Chinese Consulate General in Cebu and the Chinese Embassy in Manila were not returned, and officials in Beijing did not respond to a request for comments.