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.
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
16 30 N, 112 00 E
total: NA sq km water: 0 sq km land: NA sq km
Area - comparative:
mostly low and flat
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m highest point: unnamed location on Rocky Island 14 m