CIA World Fact Book, 2004/Paracel Islands

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CIA WFB Seal.png Paracel Islands CIA WFB Seal.png
map of Paracel Islands

Introduction Paracel Islands
Background: 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
Location: 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
Area: total: NA sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: NA sq km
Area - comparative: NA
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 518 km
Maritime claims: NA
Climate: tropical
Terrain: mostly low and flat
Elevation extremes: lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Rocky Island 14 m
Natural resources: none
Land use: arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2001)
Irrigated land: 0 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: typhoons
Environment - current issues: NA
Geography - note: composed of 130 small coral islands and reefs divided into the northeast Amphitrite Group and the western Crescent Group

People Paracel Islands
Population: 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
Airports: 1 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2004 est.)

Military Paracel Islands
Military - note: occupied by China

This page was last updated on 1 January 2003

This is a snapshot of the CIA World Fact Book as it existed on 26 March 2005