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  Introduction Back To Top

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 Mischief Reef in 1999. The islands are claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.

  Geography Back To Top

Land boundaries:
0 km


Map references:
Southeast Asia

Geographic coordinates:
16 30 N, 112 00 E

Natural resources:

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Rocky Island 14 m

mostly low and flat

Geography - note:
composed of 130 small coral islands and reefs divided into the northeast Amphitrite Group and the western Crescent Group

total: NA sq km
land: NA sq km
water: 0 sq km

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

518 km

Area - comparative:

Irrigated land:
0 sq km

Environment - current issues:

Maritime claims:

Natural hazards:

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)

  People Back To Top

no indigenous inhabitants
note: there are scattered Chinese garrisons

  Government Back To Top

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Paracel Islands

  Economy Back To Top

Economy - overview:
China announced plans in 1997 to open the islands for tourism.

  Communications Back To Top

  Transportation Back To Top

Ports and terminals:
small Chinese port facilities on Woody Island and Duncan Island being expanded

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)

1 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military - note:
occupied by China

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
occupied by China, also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam

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Quiz #4
  1. Which is the largest ocean in the world?
  Atlantic ocean
  Artctic ocean
   Pacific ocean
  Indian ocean
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