THE Chinese Coast Guard has rescued two Filipino fishermen from the waters off Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Dao), the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, a gesture showing that the China-Philippines ties have returned to normal.
Saying they are attaching great importance to what has happened, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said Chinese authorities have asked Chinese boats in Scarborough to search for the Filipino fishermen who have failed to return home when a typhoon approached the area.
“According to the China Coast Guard, the Chinese side has rescued two Philippine fishermen from the waters off Huangyan Dao and is verifying their identities,” Shuang said.
He added the Chinese side will continue with the search and rescue of the remaining missing Filipino fishermen in the waters off Scarborough Shoal.
Earlier the Philippine Coast Guard said they had launched a search for five Filipinos who failed to return after fishing in waters off Huangyan Dao.
The Filipino fishermen left the waters due to an approaching typhoon last week but failed to return home,
It was the first search and rescue operations by the Chinese since tensions escalated between the Philippines and China a few years back over territorial disputes in Scarborough Shoal.
The warming of ties between the Philippines and China started when President Rodrigo Duterte visited Beijing in October and met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Duterte said they have decided to set aside the issue of the South China Sea until the right time comes and focus on pursuing other areas of cooperation.