Beijing warns Manila against provoking tensions as floating barrier removed at disputed reef

Photo credit: Philippine Coast Guard

26th September 2023 – (Beijing) Beijing issued a warning to Manila on Tuesday after the Philippine Coast Guard disclosed the removal of a floating barrier at a disputed reef, which was allegedly deployed by China to restrict Filipino access to the traditional fishing area.

Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin stated, “China firmly upholds the sovereignty and maritime rights and interests of Huangyan Island,” commonly known as Scarborough Shoal, and advised the Philippines against provoking or escalating the situation.

Philippine National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano pledged to take “all appropriate actions” in response to the removal of barriers installed by the Chinese coast guard at the reef situated in the South China Sea.

During a routine government resupply mission to Filipino fishermen operating near the Chinese-controlled reef, a 300-meter floating barrier was discovered across the entrance to the shoal last week.

The Philippine statement did not clarify whether the entire barrier had been removed.