Five asylum seekers at the centre of a dispute between China and Japan were released on May 22, 2002 and flown to Manila en route to the final destination of South Korea.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said that China has appropriately dealt with the five involved in an intrusion incident at the Japanese Consulate-General in Shenyang, Northeast China.
In a brief statement, Kong said that the settlement was made in accordance with China's domestic laws and international norms and from a humanitarian perspective.
The five, including a toddler, arrived in Manila last night en route to their final destination, a Philippine Foreign Ministry official said.
"There was a request from the South Korean ambassador and Vice President (and Foreign Secretary) Teofisto Guingona has approved it," Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Franklin Ebdalin said.
China and Japan have been trapped in a diplomatic dispute since Chinese guards brought the five intruders out of the Japanese consulate in Shenyang on May 8. China says its police were invited inside.
As more evidence emerged to support the Chinese version of the incident, Japan has begun to take a reconciliatory stance.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi earlier in the day urged a speedy resolution to the stalemate.
China had insisted it would handle the matter on its own terms and urged Japan to withdraw "unreasonable" demands for an apology and the return of the five people.