Not Philippines, We Removed the Floating Barrier in South China Sea: Chinese Coast Guard

  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 07:33 AM, September 28, 2023
  • 1318
Not Philippines, We Removed the Floating Barrier in South China Sea: Chinese Coast Guard
China-deployed blocking net around Huangyan Island on Sept. 22, 2023 @CCG

The Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) has removed a floating barrier it placed near an island in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) while denying that its Philippines counterpart did so.

In an official statement, Gan Yu, the spokesperson for the China Coast Guard (CCG), categorically refuted the Philippines' assertion of having removed obstruction nets established by the CCG at Huangyan Dao (Huangyan Island) in the South China Sea, deeming it entirely baseless.

Gan's response came in reaction to a statement made by the Philippine Coast Guard on Monday, in which they asserted that they had dismantled the 'floating barrier' positioned by the China Coast Guard on the southeastern side of Huangyan Island, which was obstructing Philippine fishermen from accessing the area for their fishing activities.

Not Philippines, We Removed the Floating Barrier in South China Sea: Chinese Coast Guard
Net reportedly removed by Chinese Coast Guard on Sept.23, 2023 @CCG

Jonathan Malaya, Assistant Director General of Philippine National Security Council (NSC), earlier said that the country’s coast guard “has the authority to remove the floating barriers” that was found near Scarborough Shoal, which he said is located near the province of Zambales and falls well within the country's 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Gan contended that a ship affiliated with the Philippines' Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources had unlawfully entered the waters near China's Huangyan Island without authorization from the Chinese government and engaged in provocative actions on Friday.

In response, the CCG took legal measures to effectively control the Philippine vessel, including issuing warnings, imposing route restrictions, and temporarily installing obstruction nets in the lagoon into which the Philippine vessel had ventured.

Not Philippines, We Removed the Floating Barrier in South China Sea: Chinese Coast Guard

Gan explained that these nets were subsequently removed by the China Coast Guard on Saturday, and all management measures were restored to their usual state. He emphasized that these actions were executed with professionalism, adhering to established standards and reasonable practices.

Accompanying the Chinese statement were three photographs illustrating the CCG vessels blocking the Philippine vessel, the obstruction nets set up by the CCG, and the subsequent removal of these nets.

“China has undisputable sovereignty over Huangyan Island and its surrounding waters and has sovereign rights and jurisdiction over relevant waters,” Gan said.

He pledged that the “CCG will continue to hold law enforcement activities in waters under Chinese jurisdiction in accordance with the law and will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and maritime rights.”

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