Philippines to Remove Chinese Floating Barrier

  • Bureau
  • 09:58 AM, September 27, 2023
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Philippines to Remove Chinese Floating Barrier
China's floating barrier in Disputed Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal)

The Philippines has decided to remove a floating barrier set up by the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) near Scarborough Shoal setting the stage for a possible confrontation with Beijing.

On Sunday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported finding a 300-meter-long floating barrier near Scarborough Shoal during a routine patrol on September 22. The PCG had criticized the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) for placing these barriers at Scarborough Shoal, which blocked Filipino fishing boats from entering the area.

The National Security Council (NSC) announced that it has completed a report on China's actions.

When questioned about whether the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has the authority to remove the floating barriers, NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya, also serving as the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea spokesperson, stressed that Scarborough Shoal is located near the province of Zambales and falls well within the country's 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Meanwhile, National Security Adviser Eduardo Año expressed strong disapproval of China's installation of floating barriers at Scarborough Shoal. He asserted that this move by the People's Republic of China constitutes a breach of the traditional fishing rights of Filipino fishermen, rights that were affirmed by the 2016 Arbitral Ruling.

Año emphasized that the 2016 ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration unequivocally declared that China's actions violate the traditional rights of Filipino fishermen, who have been fishing in that area for centuries. He further pointed out that any nation obstructing their artisanal fishing activities in the region is in violation of UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) and international law.

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