The Chinese trawler sailed away after the incident Sunday near Reed Bank that sank the fishing boat, sparking outrage from Philippine authorities and media. While President Rodrigo Duterte has largely set aside the once tense stand-off with China over the resource-rich waterway, many in the Philippines bristle at Beijing’s actions in the sea. The Chinese embassy in Manila said the crew of trawler Yuemaobinyu 42212 “bumped into” the Philippine boat and then left due to safety fears. “The Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fisherman, but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats,” the statement said. It went on to say the incident was not a “hit-and-run”, as some Philippine authorities had claimed, because the trawler “confirmed the fishermen from the Filipino boat were rescued”. However, the 22 fishermen told a very different story, saying they had spent hours in the water awaiting help. They were eventually picked up by a Vietnamese boat and brought home Friday aboard a Philippine navy vessel. The Philippine coast guard has started an investigation of the incident which Duterte’s spokesman branded as “outrageous and barbaric”. Opposition lawmaker Francis Pangilinan branded China’s version of events “as fake as its territorial claims,”… Read full this story
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