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- 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.