China to operate fifth lighthouse soon

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from a video provided by the US Navy in 2015.
Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from a video provided by the US Navy in 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • China has said it will soon operate a fifth lighthouse in the South China Sea, as a Chinese diplomat sought to strike out a territorial dispute over the waters from a summit this week.

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Mongolia on Friday and Saturday will be the first major multilateral diplomatic gathering after today's ruling by an arbitration court hearing a dispute between China and the Philippines over the area.

"The ASEM leaders summit is not a suitable place to discuss the South China Sea. There are no plans to discuss it there. And it should not be put on the agenda," said Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou yesterday.

But Beijing-based diplomats say it is inevitable the dispute will be raised at the summit, which is expected to be attended by Premier Li Keqiang.

Amid the tensions, China announced on Sunday that its fifth lighthouse in the South China Sea, on Mischief Reef, is near completion.

REUTERS

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2016, with the headline 'China to operate fifth lighthouse soon'. Print Edition | Subscribe