Beijing confirms Chinese trawler hit Philippine boat
The Chinese trawler sailed away after the incidentMANILA: Beijing confirmed Saturday that a Chinese vessel hit a Philippine fishing boat in a collision which has increased tensions in the disputed South China Sea, but denied claims it was a “hit and run”. The Chinese trawler sailed away after the incident Sunday near Reed Bank that sank the fishing boat, sparking outrage from Philippine authorities and media. 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”.