@ Paracel Islands

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   Introduction   Geography   People   Government   Economy   Transportation   Military   Transnational Issues  
Map of Paracel Islands

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Paracel Islands    Introduction Top of Page
Background: This archipelago is surrounded by productive fishing grounds and potentially large oil reserves. In 1932, French Indochina annexed the islands and set up a weather station on Prattle Island; maintenance was continued by its successor Vietnam. China has occupied the Paracel Islands since 1974, when its troops captured a South Vietnamese garrison occupying the western islands. However, the islands are still claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.
Paracel Islands    Geography Top of Page
Location: Southeastern Asia, group of small islands and reefs in the South China Sea, about one-third of the way from central Vietnam to the northern Philippines
Geographic coordinates: 16 30 N, 112 00 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area: total:  NA sq km

land:  NA sq km

water:  0 sq km
Area - comparative: NA
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 518 km
Maritime claims: NA
Climate: tropical
Terrain: mostly low and flat
Elevation extremes: lowest point:  South China Sea 0 m

highest point:  unnamed location on Rocky Island 14 m
Natural resources: none
Land use: arable land:  0%

permanent crops:  0%

permanent pastures:  0%

forests and woodland:  0%

other:  100%
Irrigated land: 0 sq km (1993)
Natural hazards: typhoons
Environment - current issues: NA
Paracel Islands    People Top of Page
Population: no indigenous inhabitants

note:  there are scattered Chinese garrisons (July 2001 est.)
Paracel Islands    Government Top of Page
Country name: conventional long form:  none

conventional short form:  Paracel Islands
Paracel Islands    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: China announced plans in 1997 to open the islands for tourism.
Paracel Islands    Transportation Top of Page
Waterways: none
Ports and harbors: small Chinese port facilities on Woody Island and Duncan Island being expanded
Airports: 1 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total:  1

1,524 to 2,437 m:  1 (2000 est.)
Paracel Islands    Military Top of Page
Military - note: occupied by China
Paracel Islands    Transnational Issues Top of Page
Disputes - international: occupied by China, but claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam