The Philippines says it has no conflict with China after removing a floating barrier in the South China Sea

MANILA: The Philippines on Tuesday (Sept 26) said China’s coast guard had removed the remains of a floating barrier that had been cut off by its Philippine counterparts in the hotly contested South China Sea.

The Philippines on Monday implemented what it called a „special operation” to cut a 300-meter barrier established by China in Scarborough Shoal, one of Asia’s most contested maritime features, further straining relations that have deteriorated over the past year.

China’s coast guard was measured in response to a Philippine ship that came closest to the reef since China took control of it in 2012, according to Coast Guard spokesman Commodore Jay Dariela.

The Philippine Coast Guard, posing as regular fishermen in a small boat, then ball-boated the barrier and took away the anchor, Dariela told DWPM radio and ANC news channel.

He said four Chinese coast guard ships were in the area and that they were „not that aggressive” after seeing media on board the Philippine ship.

The Chinese removed the barricade, only to discover hours later that it was not aligned and was blocking the lagoon, Dariela said.

Scarborough Shoal, a prime fishing spot located about 200 km from the Philippines and within its exclusive economic zone, has been the site of decades of sovereignty disputes.

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