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Philippines Removes China’s Floating Barrier at South China Sea Lagoon

The Philippine coast guard said it removed a Chinese floating barrier that blocked access to a disputed South China Sea lagoon.

A coast guard statement said it conducted a “special operation” to remove the barrier, which China put in place last week.

The Philippine coast guard also released a video showing a diver using a knife to cut a rope attached to buoys.

The action followed a statement by Philippine National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano, who said China’s barrier violated traditional Filipino fishing rights.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Monday the disputed waters are Chinese territory.

China seized control of the Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines in 2012 and claims sovereignty over most of the resource-rich South China Sea.

Competing claims include those from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters