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China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

Bei­jing re­buffed sus­pi­cion on Wed­nes­day over the op­er­a­tion of a light­house on an is­land in the South China Sea, say­ing it is a pub­lic ser­vice that China is pro­vid­ing to the re­gion.

“China has been com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing more pub­lic prod­ucts and ser­vices to nav­i­ga­tion in the South China Sea. It is ben­e­fi­cial to the trade of coastal coun­tries in the re­gion and even some coun­tries out­side the re­gion,” For­eign Min­istry spokesman Lu Kang told a reg­u­lar news brief­ing.

The Min­istry of Trans­port held a com­ple­tion cer­e­mony on Tues­day for con­struc­tion of the light­house on Zhubi Reef, mark­ing the start of the light­house’s op­er­a­tion.

Con­struc­tion of the 55-me­ter­high light­house, which has a lan­tern of 4.5 me­ters in di­am­e­ter on top and ro­tat­ing lights inside, be­gan in Oc­to­ber. The light­house is mon­i­tored via a re­mote con­trol ter­mi­nal.

The light­house emits white light in the night­time, with a range of 22 nau­ti­cal miles and a glow cy­cle of five sec­onds.

Zheng Heping, deputy head of the Mar­itime Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion, said the au­to­matic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem and other equip­ment inside the light­house can pro­vide ef­fi­cient nav­i­ga­tion ser­vices to ships, such as po­si­tion­ing ref­er­ence, route guid­ance and nav­i­ga­tion safety in­for­ma­tion.

To im­prove mar­itime emer­gency re­sponses in the area, the Min­istry of Trans­port started con­struc­tion of large, mul­ti­func­tional light­houses on Huayang Reef, Chigua Reef and Zhubi Reef last year. The two other light­houses are al­ready in use.

“The Zhubi light­house will fur­ther en­hance the ca­pa­bil­ity to en­sure mar­itime se­cu­rity in the South China Sea,” Zheng said.

“The light­house is a very ad­vanced one with mul­ti­ple func­tions,” said Zhang Xue­gang, an

XING GUANGLI / XIN­HUA

Com­ment > p11, 12 The light­house on Zhubi Reef in the South China Sea is now in use.

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