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Paracel Islands:
Geography

Paracel Islands Page


Other pages in this profile of the Paracel Islands:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
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.
Location
Definition
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
Definition
16 30 N, 112 00 E
Map references
Definition
Southeast Asia
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: NA sq km
land: NA sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
NA
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
518 km
Maritime claims
Definition
NA
Climate
Definition
tropical
Terrain
Definition
mostly low and flat
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Rocky Island 14 m
Natural resources
Definition
none
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
0 sq km
Natural hazards
Definition
typhoons
Environment - current issues
Definition
NA
Geography - note
Definition
composed of 130 small coral islands and reefs divided into the northeast Amphitrite Group and the western Crescent Group


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