Philippines Removes ‘Floating Barrier’ Installed By China In Disputed Area
The Philippine Coastguard has removed a “floating barrier” installed by China in a disputed area in the South China Sea, calling it a “decisive action” in “upholding international law”.
Authorities carried out “a special operation” that was “in compliance” with the instructions given by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, Philippine Coastguard Spokesperson Jay Tarriela posted on X, formerly Twitter, on Monday.
“The barrier posed a hazard to navigation, a clear violation of international law. It also hinders the conduct of fishing and livelihood activities of Filipino fisherfolk in BDM, which is an integral part of the Philippine national territory.”
Tarriela referred to the Bajo de Masinloc, also known as the Scarborough Shoal.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Wang Wenbin had previously defended the installation of the “floating barrier”, saying its Coastguard took necessary measures in accordance with the law to drive away a Philippine vessel.
He did not specify which law he was citing to justify the installation of the barrier.
China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, an area that overlaps with the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said the barrier was a violation of international law and the Philippines would “take all appropriate measures to protect our Country’s sovereignty and the livelihood of our fisherfolk”.