Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian expressed his “sincere gratitude” to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for rescuing the crew of a Chinese fishing vessel damaged off Suluan Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, calling it a testament of the “millennium friendship and bayanihan spirit” between the two countries despite territorial disputes.
In a message posted on Facebook on Friday, Jan. 27, the Chinese envoy shared that he received an “urgent message” from PCG commandant Admiral Artemio Abu yesterday morning that the PCG rescued a distressed Chinese vessel at vicinity in Eastern Samar and was towing it to the port of Tacloban.
“Glad to know the seven Chinese fishermen on board are in good physical condition,” Huang wrote.
“Our sincere gratitude and deep appreciation to Commandant Abu and PCG for their immediate response and humanitarian efforts to help the Chinese fishing vessel and 7 Chinese fishermen on board,” he added.
The Chinese ambassador called the rescue proof of the friendship between the Philippines and China, and a result of the “consensus” reached by both Presidents to strengthen communications amid rising maritime disputes.
“These moves are in line with and concrete implementation of the important consensus reached by our two Presidents on strengthening communication and improving dialogue mechanisms between our two Coast Guards, properly managing maritime differences through dialogue and consultation while expanding practical cooperation on the sea,” the envoy said.
“These stories are also good testament to the millennium friendship and bayanihan spirit between the Chinese and Filipino peoples,” Huang stressed.
According to the PCG, they received a report at around 2:09 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26, that the Chinese fishing vessel FV KAI DA 899 had its hull damaged, which caused it to list.
The PCG then sent BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) to rescue the seven Chinese crew on board the affected vessel.