China Erects ‘Floating’ Barrier in South China Sea, Deprives Fishermen of Their

Chinese Coast Guard boats close to the floating barrier near the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. (Image: Reuters)

Chinese Coast Guard boats close to the floating barrier near the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. (Image: Reuters)

A 300-metre floating barrier was installed in the South China Sea by China to prevent Filipino fishermen from fishing in the disputed Scarborough Shoal.

The Philippines accused China of depriving fishermen and coastal communities of their livelihoods after the latter installed a “floating barrier” to stop fishing boats from entering a disputed area in the South China Sea.

The Philippines coast guard said that a 300-metre floating barrier was stopping fishermen from accessing a lagoon in the Scarborough Shoal. Commodore Jay Tarriela of the Philippine coast guard said they discovered the barrier during patrol on Friday.

China seized the shoal in 2012 and has laid claim to 90% of the South China Sea. The Philippine vessel saw three Chinese coast guard boats and a Chinese maritime militia service boat installing the barrier.

When the Chinese side realised that there were media personnel aboard the Philippine ship they moved away. Until then they were accusing the Philippine ships and fishermen of violating international and China’s laws.

Tarriela said the barrier deprives fishermen of their livelihood. He also highlighted that China installs such barriers when they spot a large number of fishermen in the area.

Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei are irritated with China because Beijing keeps on making dubious claims related to sovereignty of land parcels and their adjacent waters in the region.

The region is known to have large deposits of oil and gas reserves and more than half of the world’s fishing vessels operate in this zone.

China has doubled down on its claims by building islands and naval patrols.

Since 2012, China has been forcing Filipino fishermen to travel further for catching fish after it seized the Scarborough Shoal.

When relations improved under former President Rodrigo Duterte, Philippines’ fishermen were allowed to fish nearby but the relationship has deteriorated once more after Ferdinand Marcos Jr became president last year.

Marcos Jr restored military ties with the US and granted American troops wider access to Philippine military bases. China did not like the move because the US presence in the

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