- Introduction ::Paracel IslandsBackground: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 all 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.Geography ::Paracel IslandsLocation: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 PhilippinesGeographic coordinates:16 30 N, 112 00 EArea:total: ca. 7.75 sq kmland: ca. 7.75 sq kmwater: 0 sq kmArea - comparative:NALand boundaries:0 kmCoastline:518 kmMaritime claims:NAClimate:tropicalTerrain:mostly low and flatElevation extremes:lowest point: South China Sea 0 mhighest point: unnamed location on Rocky Island 14 mNatural resources:noneLand use:arable land: 0%permanent crops: 0%other: 100% (2011)Irrigated land:0 sq km (2011)Natural hazards:typhoonsEnvironment - current issues:NAGeography - note:composed of 130 small coral islands and reefs divided into the northeast Amphitrite Group and the western Crescent GroupPeople and Society ::Paracel IslandsPopulation:no indigenous inhabitantsnote: there are scattered Chinese garrisonsGovernment ::Paracel IslandsCountry name:conventional long form: noneconventional short form: Paracel IslandsEconomy ::Paracel IslandsEconomy - overview: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.Transportation ::Paracel IslandsAirports:1 (2013)country comparison to the world: 230Airports - with paved runways:total: 11,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)Ports and terminals:small Chinese port facilities on Woody Island and Duncan IslandMilitary ::Paracel IslandsMilitary - note:occupied by ChinaTransnational Issues ::Paracel IslandsDisputes - international:occupied by China, also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam"
The World Factbook. 2014.
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