China denies fishing boat collided with Philippine ship
China denied a fishing boat hit a Philippine vessel that sank off Reed Bank and abandoned 22 Filipino fishermen, the Chinese Embassy in Manila said Friday.
Citing a preliminary investigation, the embassy claimed “Yuemaobinyu 42212," a Chinese fishing boat from Guangdong province, was fishing at Reed Bank off the western Philippine province of Palawan, when it was swarmed by "7 or 8 Filipino fishing boats."
"During evacuation, '42212' failed to shun a Filipino fishing boat, and its steel cable on the lighting grid of larboard bumped into the Filipino pilothouse. The Filipino fishing boat tilted and its stern foundered," an embassy statement said.
"The Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen, but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats," it added.
After "confirming" that the Filipino fishermen of the sunken Gimver 1 were rescued other Filipino fishing boats, "42212 sailed away."
"The above shows that there is no such thing as 'hit-and-run,'" the embassy said.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Filipino crewmen were rescued by a Vietnamese
vessel and a Philippine navy ship patrolling the area recovered them.
China said it attaches great importance to China-Philippines friendship and safety of life at sea.
China, the embassy said, "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." DMS