- Spratly Islands
Introduction ::Spratly IslandsBackground:The Spratly Islands consist of more than 100 small islands or reefs. They are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and potentially by gas and oil deposits. They are claimed in their entirety by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, while portions are claimed by Malaysia and the Philippines. About 45 islands are occupied by relatively small numbers of military forces from China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Since 1985 Brunei has claimed a continental shelf that overlaps a southern reef but has not made any formal claim to the reef. Brunei claims an exclusive economic zone over this area.Geography ::Spratly IslandsLocation:Southeastern Asia, group of reefs and islands in the South China Sea, about two-thirds of the way from southern Vietnam to the southern PhilippinesGeographic coordinates:8 38 N, 111 55 EArea:total: less than 5 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 248land: less than 5 sq kmwater: 0 sq kmnote: 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 SeaArea - comparative:NALand boundaries:0 kmCoastline:926 kmMaritime claims:NAClimate:tropicalTerrain:flatElevation extremes:lowest point: South China Sea 0 mhighest point: unnamed location on Southwest Cay 4 mNatural resources:fish, guano, undetermined oil and natural gas potentialLand use:arable land: 0%permanent crops: 0%other: 100% (2011)Irrigated land:5,700 sq km (2006)Natural hazards:typhoons; numerous reefs and shoals pose a serious maritime hazardEnvironment - current issues:NAGeography - note:strategically located near several primary shipping lanes in the central South China Sea; includes numerous small islands, atolls, shoals, and coral reefsPeople and Society ::Spratly IslandsPopulation:no indigenous inhabitantsnote: there are scattered garrisons occupied by military personnel of several claimant statesGovernment ::Spratly IslandsCountry name:conventional long form: noneconventional short form: Spratly IslandsEconomy ::Spratly IslandsEconomy - 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. There are no reliable estimates of potential reserves. Commercial exploitation has yet to be developed.Transportation ::Spratly IslandsAirports:4 (2013)country comparison to the world: 191Airports - with paved runways:total: 3914 to 1,523 m: 2under 914 m: 1 (2013)Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 1914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)Heliports:3 (2013)Ports and terminals:none; offshore anchorage onlyMilitary ::Spratly IslandsMilitary - 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 VietnamTransnational Issues ::Spratly IslandsDisputes - international:all of the Spratly Islands are claimed by China (including Taiwan) and Vietnam; parts of them are claimed by Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines; despite no public territorial claim to Louisa Reef, Brunei implicitly lays claim by including it within the natural prolongation of its continental shelf and basis for a seabed median with Vietnam; claimants in November 2002 signed the ""Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea,"" which has eased tensions but falls short of a legally binding ""code of conduct""; in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord to conduct marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands"
The World Factbook. 2014.
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