Philippines removes Chinese barrier in 'special operation'

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STORY: The Philippines expressed outrage on Sunday (September 24) and shared images of Chinese coastguard policing a long, ball-buoy barrier near the Scarborough Shoal, a rocky outcrop 124 miles from the Philippines and the site of years of intermittent flare-ups over sovereignty and fishing rights.

Hours after the national security adviser had vowed to take action, the Philippine coastguard said it had removed the floating cordon, at the behest of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and his special task force on the South China Sea.

An undated video by the Philippine Coast Guard showed one of its personnel cutting the rope that was holding the floating barrier and removing its anchor.

The strategic Scarborough Shoal, named after a British cargo vessel that ran aground on the atoll in the 18th century, was seized in 2012 by China, which has maintained a constant presence of coastguard and fishing trawlers there ever since.