Philippines vows to remove floating barrier placed by China's coast guard
Philippine officials vowed Monday to remove a floating barrier placed by China's coast guard to prevent Filipino fishing boats from entering a disputed lagoon in the South China Sea.
They said the 300-meter (980-foot) -long barrier at the entrance to the lagoon at Scarborough Shoal is "illegal and illegitimate."
Chinese coast guard vessels laid the barrier, held up by buoys, on Friday as a Philippine government fisheries vessel approached.
More than 50 Philippine fishing boats were outside the shoal at the time.
Philippine National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano said. "The placement by the People's Republic of China of a barrier violates the traditional fishing rights of our fishermen."
Ano said in a statement that the Philippines "will take all appropriate actions to cause the removal of the barriers and to protect the rights of our fishermen in the area."
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the shoal and its adjacent waters are "China’s inheret territory," where Beijing "has indisputable sovereignty."