Philippines removes Chinese barrier
The Philippines said yesterday it executed a "special operation" to remove a floating barrier installed by China at a prime fishing patch in the South China Sea, a move that could stoke tension after a years-long detente in Asia's most disputed waters. The Philippines expressed outrage on Sunday and shared images of Chinese coastguard policing a long, ball-buoy barrier near the Scarborough Shoal, a rocky outcrop 200 km (124 miles) from the Philippines and the site of years of intermittent flare-ups over sovereignty and fishing rights. Hours after the national security adviser had vowed to take action, the Philippine coastguard said it had removed the floating cordon, at the behest of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and his special task force on the South China Sea. "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," it said in a statement, describing the shoal as "an integral part of the Philippine national territory".