Friday, May 22, 2015Friday, May 22, 2015

China foreign ministry defends lighthouse on disputed islands

Published on Aug 9, 2014 12:25 PM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's foreign ministry has defended the government's decision to build lighthouses on disputed islands in the South China Sea, saying they were being built to facilitate navigation.

State media reported on Thursday that China was planning to build lighthouses on five islands in the South China Sea, known in English as North Reef, Antelope Reef, Drummond Island, South Sand and Pyramid Rock, including two that appear to be in waters also claimed by Vietnam.

Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement posted on the foreign ministry website late on Friday that the lighthouses were "necessary measures to guarantee the safety of vessel traffic" and was both in the public interest and compliant with international law.

The US and the Philippines have called for a voluntary freeze on any status-quo changing moves by disputants in the area, but China has rejected the proposal.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!