The Philippines condemns China coastguards for installing floating barriers in the disputed South China Sea, alleging that these barriers obstruct Filipino vessels from entering the area for fishing activities.
Installation of Alleged Barriers
Jay Tarriela, a spokesperson for the Philippine Coast Guard, revealed that Filipino vessels discovered the floating barriers during their routine maritime patrols on Friday, September 22, according to a statement posted on the social media platform X. Tarriela mentioned that these barriers spanned approximately 300 meters (984 feet).
“On Sunday, September 24, the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources strongly condemned the installation of floating barriers by the Chinese Coast Guard in the Southeastern part of Bajo de Masinloc, which prevents Filipino fishing vessels from entering the shallow waters and obstructs their fishing activities and livelihood,” Tarriela said.
The Photo Shows a Floating Border
Tarriela also shared photos believed to depict the floating barriers. He claimed that three Chinese Coast Guard ships and a maritime militia service vessel had installed the floating barriers after the arrival of Filipino vessels in the area.
Furthermore, the Philippine Coast Guard shared footage showing damaged and bleached coral reefs. This has led them to assert that China has engaged in significant environmental destruction in the region.
“Tarriela remarked that the continued illegal and destructive fishing activities conducted by the Chinese maritime militia at Rozul Reef and Escoda Shoal indiscriminately may cause degradation and destruction of the marine environment in the West Philippine Sea region.”
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected these accusations, deeming them false and unfounded.
Mao Ning, a spokesperson, stated, “We suggest that the Philippine authorities should not use fake information to create political jokes.”
Context: Scarborough Shoal and the South China Sea Dispute
Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal, is a small yet strategically significant coral reef area known for its rich fishing grounds. It is located 130 miles (200 kilometers) west of Luzon Island in the Philippines. China refers to this area as Huangyandao and claims it as one of several disputed islands and reefs in the South China Sea.
The South China Sea has been a subject of territorial disputes involving China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei. These disputes revolve around sovereignty claims over various islands, reefs, and waters in the region.
The Philippines, in particular, has had ongoing territorial disputes with China over parts of the South China Sea, which have led to heightened tensions between the two countries.
The accusation of floating barriers being installed in disputed waters further adds to the complex web of disputes and geopolitical rivalries in the South China Sea. The response of regional and international actors to these developments will continue to shape the dynamics of the region’s maritime disputes. Follow us for more information about The Philippines condemns China.