China has begun operating a lighthouse on one of its artificial islands in the South China Sea near where a U.S. warship sailed last year to challenge China’s territorial claims, according to a Reuters report. China claims most of the energy-rich waters of the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. But neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims. China’s transport ministry held a “completion ceremony”, marking the start of operations of the 55-metre (180-ft) high lighthouse on Subi Reef, where construction began in October, state news agency Xinhua said late on Tuesday.
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