China: No such thing as hit-and-run incident
MANILA, Philippines — China denied that a Chinese fishing vessel hit and abandoned a Philippine fishing boat at Reed Bank in the South China Sea early this week.
A statement from Chinese Embassy in Manila stated that the captain of the Chinese vessel even tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen.
“The Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen, but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino boats. Therefore, having confirmed the fishermen from the Filipino boat were rescued on board by other Filipino fishing boats, 42212 sailed away from the scene,” the statement read. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
— ChineseEmbassyManila (@Chinaembmanila) June 14, 2019
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana previously condemned the incident, saying the Philippine boat Gimver 1 was anchored at the Reed Bank when it was hit by the Chinese fishing vessel.
In its preliminary investigation, the Chinese Embassy confirmed that the Chinese vessel Yuemaobinyu 42212 from Guangdong Province in China was engaged in a “light purse seine operation” at the vicinity of Reed Bank on June 9.
The embassy claimed that the Chinese fishing boat was suddenly “besieged” by seven or eight Philippine fishing boats, and during the evacuation, its “steel cable on the lighting grid” bumped into the Philippine boat’s pilothouse.
China said it would continue to investigate the incident as it values the friendship between China and the Philippines.
“The Chinese side attaches great importance to China-Philippines friendship and safety at sea and will continue to properly handle this issue with the Philippines in a serious and responsible manner,” the statement read.
China said both countries are “maintaining close communication through diplomatic channels.” (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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