China denies ‘forceful’ retrieval of rocket debris in South China Sea
MANILA, Philippines — China denied on Monday that it “forcefully” retrieved rocket debris in the South China Sea as stated a day before by the Philippine military.
In a statement, the Chinese Embassy in Manila said that a friendly consultation took place.
“Relevant reports are inconsistent with facts,” the embassy said.
Citing the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the embassy said the Chinese Coast Guard ship spotted the rocket debris in the waters off the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea.
The Philippine Navy, the embassy noted, already found and towed the debris.
“After friendly consultation, the Philippine side returned the floating object to the Chinese side on the spot,” the embassy said.
“The Chinese side expressed gratitude to the Philippine side. There was no so-called blocking of the course of a Philippine Navy boat and forcefully retrieving the object at the scene,” it added.
Early this month, debris suspected to have come from a Chinese rocket was found in the waters of Palawan and Occidental Mindoro.
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