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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.


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Geography

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 Ca. 7.75 sq km
Land Ca. 7.75 sq km
Water 0 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% (2005)

Irrigated land
0 sq km

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


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  Paracel Islands [ Undetermined ]:


  GPS points from Paracel Islands [ Undetermined ]



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