The Chinese Embassy in Manila denied Friday that a Chinese ship abandoned Filipino fishermen after sinking their boat near Reed Bank last Sunday.
In a Facebook statement that was later deleted, the embassy claimed that Chinese fishing boat Yuemaobinyu 42212 was berthed near Reed Bank when it was “suddenly besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino fishing boats.”
“During evacuation, 42212 failed to shun a Filipino fishing boat and its steel cable on the lightning grid of larboard bumped into the Filipino pilothouse. The Filipino fishing boat tilted and its stern foundered,” the statement read, citing Beijing’s preliminary investigation.
The embassy said the Chinese captain attempted to rescue the Filipino fishermen but was “afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats.”
“Therefore, having confirmed the fishermen from the Filipino boat were rescued on board of other Filipino fishing boats, 42212 sailed away from the scene. The above shows that there is no such thing as ‘hit-and-run’,” it said.
The embassy said Beijing “will continue to properly handle this issue with the Philippines in a serious and responsible manner.”
“The two sides are maintaining close communication through diplomatic channels,” it said.
China earlier downplayed the incident, which it said was an “ordinary maritime accident.”
The Philippine Navy and the captain of the Filipino boat F/B GEMVIR1, however, begged to differ.
[TRUTH] The Chinese vessel intentionally rammed the Filipino fishing vessel then for 6 hours the Filipino crew were floating around with drums as their lifevest, 2 of the Filipino crew swam for 2 hours to reach a Vietnamese vessel from a 6 kilometer distance of which the Vietnamese vessel immediately came to their aid. The Vietnamese provided them food, clothing and an emergency radio to contact other Filipino fishing vessels in the area.