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Philippines Coast Guard Cuts Chinese Barrier

Philippines Coast Guard removed a floating barrier installed by China at a prime piece of ocean in the South China Sea.


(Philippine Coast Guard personnel cuts the rope)

The Philippines expressed outrage on Sunday and shared images of Chinese coastguard policing a long, ball-buoy barrier near the Scarborough Shoal, a rocky outcrop 200 km (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.

"The barrier posed a hazard to navigation, a clear violation of international law. It also hinders the conduct of fishing and livelihood activities of Filipino fisherfolk," it said in a statement, describing the shoal as "an integral part of the Philippine national territory".

In his 1976 story collection Home is the Hangman, science fiction writer Roger Zelazny describes an intriguing ocean barrier in an undersea park with a more agreeable purpose, that of keeping dangerous animals out of the park:

Each of the four areas is enclosed by a sonic wall, a sound barrier that keeps everything outside out and everything inside in... At a number of points the wall possesses sound locks - a pair of sonic curtains several meters apart, which are operated by means of a simple control located on the bottom. Dolphins are capable of teaching one another how to use it ...

(Read more about the sonic curtain)

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