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Philippines accuses China of installing ‘floating barrier’ in South China Sea

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The coast guard of China was accused by the Philippines on Sunday (September 24) of installing a “floating barrier” in the South China Sea’s disputed area, stating that this has prevented the Filipinos from entering the area and fishing.

The coast guard of Manila and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources “strongly condemned” the installation of the barrier by China in a part of the Scarborough Shoal, coast guard spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela posted on the X social media platform, which was formerly called Twitter.

He said that the fishermen from the shoal are being blocked by the barrier and have been deprived of carrying out fishing and other livelihood activities.

“The Philippine coast guard and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources strongly condemn the China coast guard’s installation of a floating barrier in the Southeast portion of Bajo de Masinloc, which prevents Filipino fishing boats from entering the shoal and depriving them of their fishing and livelihood activities,” read the statement posted on X.

The spokesperson also posted photos of the alleged floating barrier and stated that the floating barrier was installed by three Chinese coast guard boats and a Chinese maritime militia service after the Philippine government vessel arrived in the area.

Philippines shares footage of broken and bleached coral

Earlier this week, the Philippine coast guard shared footage in which vast patches of broken and bleached coral were seen after which China was accused by the officials of causing massive destruction in the area.

“The continued swarming for the indiscriminate illegal and destructive fishing activities of the Chinese maritime militia in Rozul Reef and Escoda Shoal may have directly caused the degradation and destruction of the marine environment in the [West Philippine Sea] features,” said Tarriela in a statement, while he referred to the name of Manila for parts of the South China Sea that fall under their jurisdiction.

“The presence of crushed corals strongly suggests a potential act of dumping, possibly involving the same dead corals that were previously processed and cleaned before being returned to the seabed,” Tarriela stated.

Speaking at a routine briefing about the coral destruction on Thursday (September 21), the foreign ministry of China dismissed the allegations as “false and groundless.”

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