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?