President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines has ordered the removal of a moving barrier fixed by the Chinese authorities in a hotly disputed region of the South China Sea. The Philippine authorities called the action ‘decisive’ and said that it had been done in accordance with international law.
The Coast Guard of the island nation dismantled the buoy in a covert operation after President Marcos Jr. ordered the Coast Guard to remove it. A spokesperson of the coastguard posted on Twitter, now X, that the barrier in the South China Sea was hazardous to navigation. He said that it blatantly violated international maritime laws.
The spokesperson said that the South China Sea barrier also hampered fishing activities in an area that is within the Philippines. The Bajo de Masinloc, or the Scarborough Shoal, is one of Asia’s most disputed maritime features. It has been a flash point for flare-ups over fishing rights and sovereignty.
The Philippine Coast Guard Carried Out A Covert Operation In South China Sea To Dismantle The Barrier
The Philippines has vowed not to back down against the aggressive move by the Chinese in the South China Sea. The 300-meter-log ball buoy was placed by the Chinese coastguard during what it claimed was routine patrol. The special operations launched by the Philippine authorities entailed coastguard divers entering the shoal posing as fishermen. They used masks and snorkels to dive into the sea, cut the barriers, and remove the anchor.
The move proved the determination of the Philippines to maintain its presence on the shoal. China has warned the Philippines against provocations. The Scarborough Shoal is named after a British ship that grounded there. It has turned into one of the most disputed maritime features and has been a flash point for control.
Both China and the Philippines claim sovereignty over the shoal but it remains under Chinese control at the moment. The Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling in 2016 on the South China Sea ruled that China’s blockade of this part of the South China Sea violated international law as the area was a free fishing ground for several countries.