China claims ship 'besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino boats'
MANILA, Philippines – While admitting one of their own was involved, China denied a Chinese ship sank a Filipino boat in a "hit-and-run" incident in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
In a statement Friday evening, June 14, the Chinese embassy claimed the Chinese vessel was in fact "besieged by 7 or 8 Filipino fishing boats," preventing it from rescuing the Filipino fishermen from their sunken boat.
China said the Chinese fishing boat Yuemaobinyu 42212 "engaged in a light purse seine operation" and "was berthed" in the vicinity of Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea "at 2400 hours on June 9, 2019."
Referring to the Chinese vessel, the embassy said: "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 lighting grid of larboard bumped into the Filipino pilothouse. The Filipino fishing boat tilted and its stern foundered."
"The Chinese captain tried 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 embassy added.
"The above shows that there is no such thing as 'hit and run,'" it said.
China then vowed "to properly handle this issue with the Philippines in a serious and responsible manner," as it "attaches great importance to China-Philippines friendship and safety of life at sea."
"The two sides are maintaining close communication through diplomatic channels," the Chinese embassy said.
China's statement is the latest twist in this unprecedented episode in the dispute between Manila and Beijing over the West Philippine Sea. The incident took place near Recto Bank, an oil-rich underwater reef formation that belongs to the Philippines but is coveted by China.
The Filipino fishermen said the Chinese ship fled the area after sinking their boat. The Filipinos had to wait for hours before they spotted a friendly Vietnamese vessel, which rescued them. (READ: INSIDE STORY: How Filipino crew were saved by Vietnamese in West PH Sea) – Rappler.com
Read stories related to the incident:
- Chinese vessel sinks Philippine boat in West PH Sea ‘collision’
- Sinking of Filipino vessel ‘a first’ in Philippines-China row
- TIMELINE: Skirmishes, standoffs, harassment in West Philippine Sea
- Hold China accountable, Del Rosario says after sinking of PH boat
- AFP: Chinese vessel's sinking of PH boat ‘far from accidental’
- Panelo says possible for PH to cut ties with China over boat sinking
- Locsin hits ‘collision’ of Philippine, Chinese vessels
- Locsin on PH boat sinking: 'Fuck the international community'
- Philippines asks China to sanction Chinese crew of vessel in collision
- LOOK: Philippine fishing boat sunk by Chinese vessel in West PH Sea
- ‘Not a friend’: Netizens hit China over sinking of Philippine boat
- Owner of PH boat sunk by Chinese ship: 'I only ask for justice'
- Lorenzana now unsure if Chinese vessel sank Philippine boat
- China calls sinking of Philippine boat an 'ordinary maritime accident'
- WATCH: How alleged Chinese ship sank Filipino fishing vessel in West PH Sea
- 3 speeches in a row, Duterte silent on Chinese ship sinking PH vessel
- China envoy vows probe into Philippine boat sinking
- WATCH: Crew of Philippine vessel rammed by Chinese ship on their way home
- Occidental Mindoro town mayor to Duterte: Let's speak out against China
- Navy rebuffs China: PH boat sinking ‘not normal accident’
- Lacson, De Lima call for punitive action vs China and its fishermen
- Wives wait in limbo for fishermen of sunken vessel to come home
- Captain of abandoned PH boat: I'm sure Chinese ship sank us
- Recto Bank: Why China covets what belongs to the Philippines
- Crew of sunken Philippine boat now home
- Arroyo defends Duterte response to Philippine boat sinking
- INSIDE STORY: How Filipino crew were saved by Vietnamese in West PH Sea
In these changing times, courage and clarity become even more important.
Take discussions to the next level with Rappler PLUS — your platform for deeper insights, closer collaboration, and meaningful action.
Sign up today and access exclusive content, events, and workshops curated especially for those who crave clarity and collaboration in an intelligent, action-oriented community.
As an added bonus, we’re also giving a free 1-year Booky Prime membership for the next 200 subscribers.
You can also support Rappler without a PLUS membership. Help us stay free and independent by making a donation: https://www.rappler.com/crowdfunding. Every contribution counts.