Philippine Coast Guard – Reuters
Chinese Coast Guard boats are photographed near the floating barrier on September 20, 2023, near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, in this handout photo released by the Philippine Coast Guard on September 24, 2023. Philippine Coast Guard/Handout via Reuters This photo was provided by By a third party. Mandatory credit. No resale. There is no archive
The Philippines on Sunday condemned the Chinese Coast Guard’s erection of what it described as a “floating barrier” in a disputed area in the South China Sea, saying it prevents Filipino boats from entering the area and fishing there.
In a statement on the website
“The Philippine Coast Guard and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources strongly condemn the Chinese Coast Guard’s installation of a floating barrier in the southeastern part of Bajo de Masinloc, preventing Philippine fishing boats from entering the shallow waters and depriving them of their fishing activities and livelihoods,” the statement read.
Sharing photos of the alleged floating barrier, Tarriela claimed that three Chinese Coast Guard boats and a Chinese maritime militia service boat installed the floating barrier after a Philippine government ship arrived in the area.
Philippine Coast Guard Shared footage earlier this week Vast areas of coral are broken and bleached, leading officials to accuse China of causing massive destruction in the region.
“The continued swarming of indiscriminate, illegal and destructive fishing activities carried out by Chinese maritime militias at Rosol Reef and Escoda Shoal may have directly caused the degradation and destruction of the marine environment in [West Philippine Sea] “Features,” Tarella said in a statement, referring to the name Manila gives to parts of the South China Sea under its jurisdiction.
“The presence of crushed coral strongly suggests that a dumping operation may have occurred, possibly involving the same dead coral that had previously been treated and cleaned before being returned to the seafloor,” Tarella added.
When asked about the destruction of coral reefs at a routine press conference on Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry dismissed the allegations as “false and baseless.”
“We advise the Philippine authorities not to use fabricated information to create a political farce,” spokesman Mao Naing told reporters.
According to the Filipino fishermen, Chinese vessels “usually install floating barriers when they observe a large number of Filipino fishermen in the area,” the statement said.
China has not yet commented publicly.
CNN is seeking a response from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal, is a small but strategic reef and fertile fishing ground located 130 miles (200 km) west of the Philippine island of Luzon.
The shallow island, which China calls Huangyandao, is one of a number of disputed islands and reefs in the South China Sea, which is home to various territorial disputes.
03:48- Source: CNN
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