Philippines condemns China's 'floating barrier'

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STORY: The Philippines on Sunday (September 24) accused China's coast guard of installing a 'floating barrier' in a disputed area of the South China Sea.

Footage released by the Philippine coast guard showed several Chinese vessels near the barrier - which Manila says is preventing Filipinos from entering and fishing in the area.

A spokesperson said the Philippine coast guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources "strongly condemn" the installation of the barrier in part of the Scarborough Shoal.

China claims 90% of the South China Sea - overlapping with the exclusive economic zones of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Beijing seized the Scarborough Shoal in 2012 - forcing Filipino fishermen to travel further for smaller catches.

They were allowed to return as bilateral relations improved markedly under the Philippines then-President Rodrigo Duterte.

But tension has mounted against since his successor, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, took office last year.

The Philippine coast guard and fisheries bureau personnel discovered the floating barrier on a routine patrol on Friday (September 22).

China's embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment.