China lighthouse on Subi reef threatens peace–PH


SAN FERNANDO CITY—The Philippines on Thursday slammed China for operating a lighthouse on Zamora (Subi) Reef in the Spratly archipelago, charging that Beijing’s move undermines peace and stability in the region.

Zamora Reef is claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam, but controlled by China, which built an artificial island there and on six other reefs in the Spratlys to bolster its claim to almost all of the South China Sea.

On Tuesday, China switched on a 55-meter-high lighthouse that it had built on Zamora Reef to monitor passing ships.

“The Philippines is opposed to all [of] these actions of China. China’s actions are in violation of the 2002 Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea,” Charles Jose, spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs, said on Thursday after briefing reporters here on the South China Sea dispute.

Nine-dash-line claim

“China’s actions in the South China Sea are its efforts to enforce and assert its claim and to realize its nine-dash-line claim,” Jose said.

“Nine-dash line” refers to China’s sweeping claims to territory in the South China Sea, demarcated by nine dashes on new Chinese maps.

China insists it has “undisputed sovereignty” over those waters despite conflicting claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.

About $5 trillion in global trade passes through the South China Sea every year.

In the Spratlys, islets, reefs and atolls are believed to be sitting atop vast deposits of oil and natural gas.

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