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China kicks off lighthouse construction in disputed South China Sea

China kicks off lighthouse construction in disputed South China Sea

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) China's Ministry of Transport held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for the construction of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea area, a move that is likely to escalate tensions in the region. China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported that the two multi-functional lighthouses are being built on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands to provide navigational service to passing ships. The reefs, also known as Cuateron Reef and Johnson South Reef, are located in an area that is claimed by several countries, including Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, China and Vietnam.
Last year, the Philippines accused China of reclaiming land on Johnson South Reef, apparently to build an airstrip. Photos taken by a U.S. P-8A surveillance plane that flew over the South China Sea area on May 20 showed that China was actively engaged in reclamation efforts. The photos also showed airstrips, a control tower and military facilities such as early warning radar. In the photos, some 30 ships were seen moored around the reclamation site, apparently as part of the construction work. (By Scarlett Chai and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-19 15:21 GMT+08:00