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Spratly Islands

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Quick Facts
Capital
Government
Currency
Areatotal: less than 5 sq km
note: includes 100 or so islets, coral reefs, and sea mounts scattered over an area of nearly 410,000 sq km of the central South China Sea
water: 0 sq km
land: less than 5 sq km
Populationno indigenous inhabitants
note: there are scattered garrisons occupied by personnel of several claimant states (July 2002 est.)
Language
Religion

This archipelago - surrounded by rich fishing grounds and potentially by gas and oil deposits - is claimed in its entirety by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, while portions are claimed by Malaysia and the Philippines. All five parties occupy certain islands or reefs.


spratly islands Travel Guide :

Spratly Islands

Geography

Image:pg-map.png
Map of Spratly Islands
Location 
Southeastern Asia, group of reefs and islands in the South China Sea, about two-thirds of the way from southern Vietnam to the southern Philippines
Geographic coordinates 
8 38 N, 111 55 E
Map references 
Southeast Asia
Area 
total: less than 5 sq km
note: includes 100 or so islets, coral reefs, and sea mounts scattered over an area of nearly 410,000 sq km of the central South China Sea
water: 0 sq km
land: less than 5 sq km
Area - comparative 
NA
Land boundaries 
0 km
Coastline 
926 km
Maritime claims 
NA
Climate 
tropical
Terrain 
flat
Elevation extremes 
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: unnamed location on Southwest Cay 4 m
Natural resources 
fish, guano, undetermined oil and natural gas potential
Land use 
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land 
0 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards 
typhoons; serious maritime hazard because of numerous reefs and shoals
Environment - current issues 
NA
Geography - note 
strategically located near several primary shipping lanes in the central South China Sea; includes numerous small islands, atolls, shoals, and coral reefs
Spratly Islands

People

Population 
no indigenous inhabitants
note: there are scattered garrisons occupied by personnel of several claimant states (July 2002 est.)
Spratly Islands

Government

Country name 
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands

Economy

Economy - overview 
Economic activity is limited to commercial fishing. The proximity to nearby oil- and gas-producing sedimentary basins suggests the potential for oil and gas deposits, but the region is largely unexplored, and there are no reliable estimates of potential reserves; commercial exploitation has yet to be developed.
Spratly Islands

Transportation

Waterways 
none
Ports and harbors 
none; offshore anchorage only
Airports 
4 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Spratly Islands

Military

Military - note 
Spratly Islands consist of more than 100 small islands or reefs, of which about 45 are claimed and occupied by China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam
Spratly Islands

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
all of the Spratly Islands are claimed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam; parts of them are claimed by Malaysia and the Philippines; in 1984, Brunei established an exclusive fishing zone that encompasses Louisa Reef in the southern Spratly Islands, but has not publicly claimed the island; in 2000, China joined ASEAN discussions towards creating a South China Sea "code of conduct" - a non-legally binding confidence building measure

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