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Spratly Islands



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Introduction

Geography

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
  land: less than 5 sq km
  water: 0 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)

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%
  permanent pastures: 0%
  forests and woodland: 0%
  other: 100%

Irrigated land: 0 sq km (1993)

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

People

Population: no indigenous inhabitants (Note: there are scattered garrisons occupied by personnel of several claimant states (July 2000 est.))

Government

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

Data code: PG

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.

Communications

Transportation

Ports and harbors: none

Airports: 4 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 1
  914 to 1,523 m: 1 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways
  total: 3
  914 to 1,523 m: 1
  under 914 m: 2 (1999 est.)

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

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, which encompasses Louisa Reef in the southern Spratly Islands, but has not publicly claimed the island

 

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Site Version 1.75 - Last updated Wednesday, December 20, 2006 at 9:44AM PST on host Saturn

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