China switches on lighthouse on artificial island in South China Sea


An octagonal tower with a conical feature at its top, located on the northeast side of Subi Reef was nearly complete measuring 40 feet on each side and 90 to 100 feet tall in this Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative January 8, 2016 satellite file image released to Reuters on January 15, 2016. REUTERS/CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/Digital Globe/Handout via Reuters/Files

An octagonal tower with a conical feature at its top, located on the northeast side of Subi Reef was nearly complete measuring 40 feet on each side and 90 to 100 feet tall in this Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative January 8, 2016 satellite file image released to Reuters on January 15, 2016. REUTERS/CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/Digital Globe/Handout via Reuters/Files

China has begun operating a lighthouse on one of its artificial islands in the South China Sea near where a U.S. warship sailed last year to challenge China’s territorial claims.

China claims most of the energy-rich waters of the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. But neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

China’s transport ministry held a “completion ceremony”, marking the start of operations of the 55-metre (180-ft) high lighthouse on Subi Reef, where construction began in October, state news agency Xinhua said late on Tuesday.

The U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Lassen sailed within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef in October, drawing an angry rebuke from China, which called it “extremely irresponsible”.

Subi Reef is an artificial island built up by China on dredged up sand over the past year or so.

Before China turned it into an island, Subi was submerged at high tide. Under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, 12-nautical-mile limits cannot be set around man-made islands built on previously submerged reefs.

China says much of its construction in the South China Sea is designed to fulfill its international obligations in terms of maritime safety, search and rescue and scientific research.

Asked about the lighthouse, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China was dedicated to providing public services in the South China Sea to ensure safety and freedom of navigation, which would be helpful for commercial users of the waters.

Xinhua said the lighthouse, which emits a white light at night, “can provide efficient navigation services such as positioning reference, route guidance and navigation safety information to ships, which can improve navigation management and emergency response”.

The South China Sea is an important maritime area and major fishing ground, it added.

“However, high traffic density, complex navigation condition, severe shortage in aids and response forces have combined to threaten navigation safety and hindered economic and social development in the region.”

China has lighthouse projects on two other reefs in the area – Cuarteron Reef and Johnson South Reef.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Robert Birsel)

Source: Reuters “China switches on lighthouse on artificial island in South China Sea”

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2 Comments on “China switches on lighthouse on artificial island in South China Sea”

  1. Joseph says:

    Is that why the USS Boxer sailed quietly through Philippines territory? Last time USS Curtis Wilbur sneaked quietly on Triton island. In the absence of a lighthouse they risked running aground only to avoid being busted out.
    As expected, US provocation is getting smaller, cheaper and quieter. I guess they have a shortage of Mandarin speaker ensigns too. Perhaps they quit due to the lacks of promotion or because they simply don’t want to fight their own motherland.
    It must be very heartbreaking financial situation for the US navy in Pacific that the Japanese American Admiral Harris is getting desperate to commit kamikaze on the SCS along with his Pacific fleet and his Japanese navy brethren. His ridiculous intention is reportedly to destroy the chinese fleet in a Pearl Harbour style attack. Reportedly he was so desperate that Obama had to issue gag order so not to offend visiting Xi Jinping and ruin his trade negotiation plans. Yes, democracy and integrity are not at all matter after all. Money is all important, even in democratic America, even in the house of God itself.

    Like

  2. Steve says:

    Maybe a perfect secret location to install radar and underwater detection surveillance

    Like


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