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Philippine Coast Guard’s Bold Action in South China Sea Receives US Commendation

The Philippine Coast Guard is praised by the United States for its actions in removing a Chinese barrier near the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, amidst ongoing disputes over sovereignty and fishing rights in the area (Photo: asiatimes)

Philippine Coast Guard’s Bold Move in the South China Sea Dispute

The Philippine Coast Guard receives commendation from the United States for removing a Chinese barrier near the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, amid tensions over sovereignty and fishing rights in the region (Photo: aljazeera)

Commendation for the Philippine Coast Guard’s Role in South China Sea Barrier Removal

According to, the removal of a Chinese floating barrier by the Philippines near the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea has received commendation from the United States, with a senior US defense official considering it a bold step in defending sovereignty. The dispute over the rocky outcrop, located about 200km from the Philippines, has been a source of intermittent tensions involving sovereignty and fishing rights.

The Philippine Coast Guard characterized the barrier as a violation of international law and a navigation hazard, prompting their special operation to remove it. During a congressional hearing, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, Lindsey Ford, praised the Philippines’ action and reaffirmed Washington’s security commitments to its Asian ally, particularly in the context of the Philippine Coast Guard.

These commitments extend to the South China Sea, covering the Philippine Coast Guard as well. China, however, disputed the events, claiming that the barrier had been retrieved after a Philippine vessel “illegally” entered the area.

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Philippine Coast Guard’s Role in Strengthening US-Philippines Military Ties

The incident underscores the strained relations between China and the Philippines, occurring at a time when Manila is strengthening military ties with the United States. Ford mentioned the implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which grants the US access to four additional military bases in the Philippines, in collaboration with the Philippine Coast Guard, as a positive development. Control over the Scarborough Shoal has been contentious since China seized it in 2012.

It was a significant part of a legal case filed by the Philippines at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, which ruled in 2016 that Beijing’s claim to 90 percent of the South China Sea had no basis in international law. However, China has not recognized this ruling, leading to ongoing disputes in the region, involving the Philippine Coast Guard.

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