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Map of Paracel Islands
Introduction Paracel Islands
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. The islands are claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.
Geography Paracel Islands
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
total: NA sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: NA sq km
Area - comparative:
Land boundaries:
0 km
518 km
Maritime claims:
mostly low and flat
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Rocky Island 14 m
Natural resources:
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2001)
Irrigated land:
0 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
Geography - note:
composed of 130 small coral islands and reefs divided into the northeast Amphitrite Group and the western Crescent Group
People Paracel Islands
no indigenous inhabitants
note: there are scattered Chinese garrisons (July 2004 est.)
Government Paracel Islands
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Paracel Islands
Economy Paracel Islands
Economy - overview:
China announced plans in 1997 to open the islands for tourism.

Transportation Paracel Islands
Ports and harbors:
small Chinese port facilities on Woody Island and Duncan Island being expanded
1 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2003 est.)
Military Paracel Islands
Military - note:
occupied by China
Transnational Issues Paracel Islands
Disputes - international:
occupied by China, but claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam

This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004