The China Coast Guard recently stopped a group of Philippine fishermen from trespassing into Huangyan island. Footage released over the weekend shows the group of fishermen standing on the reef of the island and illegally collecting seashells. The incident occurred in mid-January. Experts say such actions are damaging to the ecological environment and the coral reef.
The China Coast Guard took necessary measures to halt these actions in accordance with the law. Their on-site operations were described as professional, reasonable, and legitimate. China asserts indisputable sovereignty over the island and its adjacent waters, as well as sovereign rights and jurisdiction over relevant waters.
Although the recent incident was prohibited, friendly bilateral fishing cooperation in the South China Sea dates back to 2016, when then President Rodrigo Duterte visited China. Despite this history, the Chinese side has opposed the latest provocations by the Philippines and has reiterated its commitment to defending its marine rights in the South China Sea.