Paracel Islands

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON APRIL 29, 2011
Location of Paracel Islands
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Map of Paracel Islands
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NO PHOTOS AVAILABLE OF PARACEL ISLANDS
 

Introduction

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The Paracel Islands are surrounded by productive fishing grounds and by potential oil and gas reserves. In 1932, French Indochina annexed the islands and set up a weather station on Pattle Island; maintenance was continued by its successor, Vietnam. China has occupied the Paracel Islands since 1974, when its troops seized a South Vietnamese garrison occupying the western islands. China built a military installation on Woody Island with an airfield and artificial harbor. The islands also are claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.
 
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Geography

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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
 
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16 30 N, 112 00 E
 
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total: ca. 7.75 sq km
land: ca. 7.75 sq km
water: 0 sq km
 
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NA
 
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0 km
 
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518 km
 
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NA
 
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tropical
 
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mostly low and flat
 
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lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Rocky Island 14 m
 
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none
 
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arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
 
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0 sq km
 
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typhoons
 
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NA
 
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composed of 130 small coral islands and reefs divided into the northeast Amphitrite Group and the western Crescent Group
 
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People and Society

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no indigenous inhabitants
note: there are scattered Chinese garrisons
 
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NA
 
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Government

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conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Paracel Islands
 
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Economy

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The islands have the potential for oil and gas development. Waters around the islands support commercial fishing, but the islands themselves are not populated on a permanent basis.
 
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Transportation

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1 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 215
 
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total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)
 
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small Chinese port facilities on Woody Island and Duncan Island
 
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Military

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occupied by China
 
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Transnational Issues

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occupied by China, also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam
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