Lighthouse of Empires Past & Present

According to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency last October 9, 2015, the 50 meters high lighthouses on Cuateron Reef and Johnson South Reef in the Spratly islands have been officially opened. For seafarers, lighthouses represent beacons of safe navigation, even of hope, as they journey across sometimes very difficult waterways. On the other hand, given the conflicting claims between the Philippines and China over these islands, can China’s lighthouse serve as a warning beacon against other powers who claim the islands? Will China’s plan to build more lighthouses be beacons of imperial control as the Chinese military assert what they claim as their historic ownership since ancient times of almost the whole South China sea? From Spanish colonial lighthouses, to American colonial lighthouses, now, creeping across nearby islands, future Chinese “colonial” lighthouses?

Gobierno de España. ES.Ministerio de Educación,Cultura y Source: Deportes.Archivo Histórico NacionalDocumentos de la Sección de Ultramar del Archivo Histórico Nacional

The original plan for Punta Santiago Lighthouse, Batangas. Detail: Faro de 4º orden de Punta Santiago”: Torre reformada: Alzados y secció.  Archivo Histórico Nacional, ULTRAMAR,MPD.5925

References:

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/china-to-continue-building-on-disputed-reefs

http://www.belvoireagle.com/world-news/china-we-will-continue-building-on-islands-reefs-1817.html

http://www.pinoyadventurista.com/2014/04/cape-santiago-lighthouse-calatagan-batangas.html

https://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/lighthouse/phl.htm

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~ by Martin Gaerlan on October 12, 2015.

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