China completes construction of lighthouses in disputed South China Sea
China has completed the construction of two lighthouses in the disputed South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency reported, as tensions in the region mount over Beijing’s maritime ambitions.
A completion ceremony was held for the lighthouses on Huayang Reef and Chigua Reef in the Spratly islands, Xinhua said late on Friday.
China claims most of the energy-rich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, and the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims.
Beijing has said construction in the region is to help maritime search and rescue, disaster relief, environmental protection and navigational security.
The issue is central to increasingly tense relations between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies.