Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin made the remarks in response to a question about the Philippines' removal of a floating barrier at a coral reef in a disputed area in the South China Sea.

"China firmly upholds the sovereignty, rights and maritime interests of Huangyan Island," Wang Wenbin said, adding: "We advise the Philippines not to stir up trouble."

China is believed to have deployed the floating barrier at the reef area of the disputed area to prevent Filipinos from accessing traditional fishing grounds.

Philippine National Security Adviser Eduardo Anno has promised to take "all appropriate measures" to remove barriers erected by the Chinese coastguard at Scarborough Shol in the South China Sea.

A 300-metre floating barrier was found across the entrance to Scarborough Scholl in the South China Sea last week during a routine supply mission for Filipino fishermen sailing in waters near Chinese-controlled coral reefs.

The Philippine Coast Guard said Monday in a statement that they had removed a floating barrier at the disputed coral reef, but it was unclear from the Philippine statement whether the entire barrier had been removed from the water.

The coast guard said they had "succeeded" in removing the barrier "in compliance with presidential instructions", AFP reported.

"The checkpoint poses a danger to navigation and is a clear violation of international law," he said.

Scarborough Scholl is a rich fishing area that China seized in 2012 after a period of heightened tensions with the Philippines.

The floating barrier prevents fishing boats from entering shallow waters where fish abound.

Philippine officials accused the Chinese coastguard of erecting the barrier shortly before a ship from the Bureau of Fisheries and Water Resources entered the area on Wednesday.

China claims near-total sovereignty over the waterway, through which billions of dollars worth of commercial goods pass annually, ignoring an international resolution that says its position has no legal basis.

The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei also claim sovereignty over parts of it.