28th September 2023 – (Beijing) The China Coast Guard (CCG) has dismissed the Philippines’ assertion that it removed blocking nets set by the CCG at Huangyan Island in the South China Sea as a fabrication, according to a statement by CCG spokesperson Gan Yu on Wednesday.
Gan responded to a statement made by the Philippine Coast Guard on Monday, claiming that it had successfully removed a “floating barrier” set up by the China Coast Guard on the southeast side of Huangyan Island, which had reportedly obstructed Philippine fishermen from accessing the area for fishing activities.
The CCG spokesperson stated that without authorisation from the Chinese government, a vessel affiliated with the Philippines’ Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources illegally entered waters off Huangyan Island on Friday, engaging in provocative behaviour. In response, the CCG took necessary and lawful measures to effectively restrict the Philippine vessel, including issuing warnings, imposing route restrictions, and temporarily installing blocking nets in the lagoon where the vessel had entered.
The blocking nets were subsequently removed by the China Coast Guard on Saturday, and normal management measures were reinstated. The spokesperson emphasised that all on-site operations were conducted professionally, following standard and reasonable protocols. The statement included three pictures illustrating the Philippine vessel being blocked by CCG vessels, the presence of blocking nets set by the CCG, and the subsequent removal of the nets.
Gan reiterated China’s indisputable sovereignty over Huangyan Island and its surrounding waters, emphasising that China possesses sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the relevant waters. The CCG will continue to conduct law enforcement activities in waters under Chinese jurisdiction in accordance with the law, while resolutely safeguarding national sovereignty and maritime rights, Gan added.ShareLike