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China says Chinese vessel in Recto Bank incident ‘besieged’ by Philippine boats

The Chinese embassy on Friday admitted that it was a Chinese vessel that hit a Philippine boat in the Recto Bank on Sunday.

In a statement, the embassy, however, claimed that the Chinese fishing boat Yuemaobinyu 42212 was "berthed" at the area when seven or eight Filipino fishing boats "besieged" it.

"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 embassy statement read.

"The Chinese captain tried to rescue the Filipino fishermen, but was afraid of being besieged by other Filipino fishing boats," it added.

The embassy said that Yuemaobinyu 42212 sailed away from the scene after confirming that "the fishermen from the Filipino boat were rescued on board of other Filipino fishing boats."

"The above shows that there is no such thing as 'hit-and-run'," the embassy statement read.

The Chinese embassy said that Yuemaobinyu 42212 was a fishing boat was from Guangdong Province.

"The Chinese side attaches great importance to China-Philippines friendship and safety of life at sea, and will continue to properly handle this issue with the Philippines in a serious and responsible manner," the embassy said.

"The two sides are maintaining close communication through diplomatic channels," it added. —NB, GMA News