The Department of Foreign Affairs said the incident happened during the coronavirus disease 2019 crisis that is “a crisis like no other in the past; not just in its potential calamitous scale, but in the hope to contain and stop it by unstinting cooperation and fullest trust among all countries.”
AFP/File
Philippines concerned over China’s sinking of Vietnamese vessel
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - April 9, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines yesterday expressed deep concern over the reported sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel by China in the South China Sea late last week, saying Manila’s similar experience revealed the trust lost in a friendship.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the incident happened during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis that is “a crisis like no other in the past; not just in its potential calamitous scale, but in the hope to contain and stop it by unstinting cooperation and fullest trust among all countries.”

“Our own similar experience revealed how much trust in a friendship is lost by it; and how much trust was created by Vietnam’s humanitarian act of directly saving the lives of our Filipino fishermen,” the DFA said in a statement.

“We have not stopped and will not stop thanking Vietnam. It is with that in mind that we issue this statement of solidarity,” it added.

The continued strengthening of regional relations, according to the DFA, is especially critical in light of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-China joint commitment to collectively tackle the ongoing crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, as declared in the Statement of the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on COVID-19, issued on Feb. 20.

The DFA reminded that ASEAN “stood by China” when it was fighting the coronavirus, which was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year.

“The ASEAN’s support proved well merited as we had no doubt it would when China extended extensive assistance to countries like the Philippines and as far afield as Italy to combat COVID-19. We remain deeply appreciative. In our small way we had helped when the crisis in Wuhan was at its worst,” it added.

The creation of new facts in the water will never give rise to legal right anywhere or anytime, according to the DFA, alluding to artificial islands constructed by China.

The Philippines urged “forbearance” and “good” behavior to each and every government and to extend the forbearance and behavior to people under their respective jurisdictions.

“COVID-19 is a very real threat that demands unity and mutual trust. In the face of it, neither fish nor fictional historical claims are worth the fuse that’s lit by such incidents,” the DFA said.

Vietnam accused the Chinese Coast Guard of sinking the fishing boat near the Paracel Islands on April 2 and lodged an official protest to Beijing.

Chinese maritime militia and Chinese Coast Guard vessels reportedly harassed, rammed and beat up Vietnamese fishermen in the Paracels regularly.

At midnight of June 9 last year, a Chinese fishing vessel rammed and sank a wooden Filipino fishing boat, the F/B Gem-Ver 1, anchored in Recto Bank (Reed Bank). After the collision, the Chinese vessel turned off its signal lights and sailed away as the Filipino boat sank.

The 22 Filipino fishermen, abandoned in the water for hours, were rescued by a Vietnamese vessel.

CHINA COVID-19 VIETNAMESE
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with