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Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
dispute Dangerous Ground (South China
China
Sea) Great wall of sand History of the Spratly Islands List of maritime features in the Spratly Islands List of airports in the Spratly Islands Vietnamese DK1 rigs Royal Malaysian Navy Offshore Bases Philippines
Philippines
and the Spratly Islands Republic of Morac-Songhrati-Meads Territorial disputes in the South China
China
Sea

Confrontations

Southwest Cay
Southwest Cay
incident (1975) Johnson South Reef
Johnson South Reef
skirmish (1988)

Military occupations

Occupied by China

Cuarteron Reef · Huayang Reef Fiery Cross Reef · Yongshu Reef Gaven Reefs · Nanxun Reef
Reef
and Xinan Reef Hughes Reef · Dongmen Reef Johnson South Reef · Chigua Reef Mischief Reef · Meiji Reef Subi Reef · Zhubi Reef

Occupied by Malaysia

Ardasier Reef · Ubi Reef Dallas Reef · Laya Reef Erica Reef · Siput Reef Investigator Shoal · Peninjau Shoal Mariveles Reef · Mantanani Reef Swallow Reef · Layang-Layang Island

Occupied by the Philippines

Commodore Reef · Rizal
Rizal
Reef Flat Island · Patag Island Irving Reef · Balagtas Reef Lankiam Cay · Panata Island Loaita Island · Kota Island Nanshan Island · Lawak Island Northeast Cay · Parola Island Second Thomas Shoal · Ayungin Shoal Thitu Island · Pagasa Island West York Island · Likas Island

Occupied by Taiwan

Itu Aba
Itu Aba
Island · Taiping Island Zhongzhou Reef

Occupied by Vietnam

Amboyna Cay · An Bang Island Collins Reef · Co Lin Reef Ladd Reef · Lat Reef Namyit Island · Nam Yet Island Sand Cay · Son Ca Island Sin Cowe Island · Sinh Ton Island Southwest Cay · Song Tu Tay Island Spratly Island · Truong Sa Island

Unoccupied

Half Moon Shoal Louisa Reef Luconia Shoals North East Investigator Shoal Royal Captain Shoal Sabina Shoal Western Reef

v t e

The Spratly Islands, Malay: Kepulauan Spratly, Tagalog: Kapuluan ng Kalayaan,[1] Vietnamese: Quần đảo Trường Sa) are a disputed group of islands, islets and cays[2] and more than 100 reefs, sometimes grouped in submerged old atolls, in the South China
China
Sea.[3] The archipelago lies off the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Vietnam. Named after the 19th-century British whaling captain Richard Spratly who sighted Spratly Island
Spratly Island
in 1843, the islands contain less than 2 km2 (490 acres) of naturally occurring land area spread over an area of more than 425,000 km2 (164,000 sq mi). The Spratlys are one of the major archipelagos in the South China
China
Sea which complicate governance and economics in this part of Southeast Asia due to their location in strategic shipping lanes. The islands have no indigenous inhabitants, but offer rich fishing grounds and may contain significant oil and natural gas reserves,[4][5] and as such are important to the claimants in their attempts to establish international boundaries. Some of the islands have civilian settlements, but of the approximately 45 islands, cays, reefs and shoals that are occupied, all contain structures that are occupied by military forces from Malaysia, Taiwan
Taiwan
(ROC), China
China
(PRC), the Philippines
Philippines
and Vietnam. Additionally, Brunei
Brunei
has claimed an exclusive economic zone in the southeastern part of the Spratlys, which includes the uninhabited Louisa Reef.

Contents

1 Geographic and economic overview 2 Geology 3 Ecology

3.1 Coral
Coral
reefs 3.2 Vegetation 3.3 Wildlife 3.4 Ecological hazards

4 History

4.1 Early cartography 4.2 Military conflict and diplomatic dialogues 4.3 2016 PCA Tribunal ruling

5 Transportation and communication

5.1 Airports 5.2 Telecommunications

6 Image gallery 7 See also 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

Geographic and economic overview[edit] Further information: List of maritime features in the Spratly Islands The Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
were, in 1939, coral islets mostly inhabited by seabirds.[2] Despite the Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
naturally consisting of 18 islands (see below), according to a Chinese 1986 source, the Spratly Islands consist of 14 islands or islets, 6 banks, 113 submerged reefs, 35 underwater banks, 21 underwater shoals.[6] The northeast part of the Spratlys is known as Dangerous Ground and is characterised by many low islands, sunken reefs, and degraded sunken atolls with coral often rising abruptly from ocean depths greater than 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) – all of which makes the area dangerous for navigation. The islands are all of similar nature; they are cays (or keys): sand islands formed on old degraded and submerged coral reefs. The Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
contain almost no significant arable land, have no indigenous inhabitants, and very few of the islands have a permanent drinkable water supply.[7] All of the natural islands (and many of the reefs) are occupied: by the Philippines
Philippines
(seven islands, Thitu Island, West York Island, Northeast Cay, Nanshan Island, Loaita Island, Flat Island, Lankiam Cay and three reefs); Taiwan
Taiwan
(one island Taiping Island, also known as Itu Aba Island and one reef); Vietnam
Vietnam
(six islands, Spratly Island, Southwest Cay, Sin Cowe Island, Sand Cay, Namyit Island, Amboyna Cay, 16 reefs and six banks); and Malaysia
Malaysia
( Swallow Reef
Swallow Reef
and about six other reefs). Natural resources include fish, guano, oil and natural gas.[8] Economic activity has included commercial fishing, shipping, guano mining, oil and gas exploitation, and more recently, tourism. The Spratlys are located near several primary shipping lanes. In 1987, China
China
installed a small military structure on Fiery Cross Reef
Reef
on the pretext[citation needed] to build an oceanic observation station and install a tide gauge for the Global Sea Level Observing System.[9] After a deadly skirmish with the Vietnamese Navy, China installed some military structures on more reefs in the vicinity of the Philippines
Philippines
and Vietnamese occupied islands and this led to escalating tensions between these countries and China
China
over the status and "ownership" of reefs. The islands and cays, listed in descending order of naturally occurring area, are:

# Island name in Atoll Area (ha.) Location Currently occupied by Reclaimed Area

1 Itu Aba
Itu Aba
Island Tizard Bank 46.00 10°23′N 114°21′E / 10.383°N 114.350°E / 10.383; 114.350 Taiwan
Taiwan
(Taiping Island) ~6ha

2 Thitu Island Thitu Reefs 37.20 11°03′N 114°17′E / 11.050°N 114.283°E / 11.050; 114.283 Philippines
Philippines
(Pagasa Island)

3 West York Island West York Island 18.60 11°05′N 115°01′E / 11.083°N 115.017°E / 11.083; 115.017 Philippines
Philippines
(Likas Island)

4 Spratly Island Spratly Island 13.00 08°38′N 111°55′E / 8.633°N 111.917°E / 8.633; 111.917 Vietnam
Vietnam
( Trường Sa
Trường Sa
Island)

5 Northeast Cay North Danger Reef 12.70 11°28′N 114°21′E / 11.467°N 114.350°E / 11.467; 114.350 Philippines
Philippines
(Parola Island)

6 Southwest Cay North Danger Reef 12.00 11°26′N 114°20′E / 11.433°N 114.333°E / 11.433; 114.333 Vietnam
Vietnam
(Song Tử Tây Island) ~8ha

7 Sin Cowe Island Union Banks 08.00 09°52′N 114°19′E / 9.867°N 114.317°E / 9.867; 114.317 Vietnam
Vietnam
(Sinh Tồn Island) ~1ha

8 Nanshan Island Nanshan Group 07.93 10°45′N 115°49′E / 10.750°N 115.817°E / 10.750; 115.817 Philippines
Philippines
(Lawak Island)

9 Sand Cay Tizard Bank 07.00 10°23′N 114°28′E / 10.383°N 114.467°E / 10.383; 114.467 Vietnam
Vietnam
(Son Ca Island) ~2.1ha[10]

10 Loaita Island Loaita Bank 06.45 10°40′N 114°25′E / 10.667°N 114.417°E / 10.667; 114.417 Philippines
Philippines
(Kota Island)

11 Swallow Reef Swallow Reef 06.20 07°22′N 113°50′E / 7.367°N 113.833°E / 7.367; 113.833 Malaysia
Malaysia
(Layang-Layang Reef)

12 Namyit Island Tizard Bank 05.30 10°11′N 114°22′E / 10.183°N 114.367°E / 10.183; 114.367 Vietnam
Vietnam
(Nam Yet Island)

13 Amboyna Cay Amboyna Cay 01.60 07°51′N 112°55′E / 7.850°N 112.917°E / 7.850; 112.917 Vietnam
Vietnam
(An Bang Island)

14 Grierson Reef Union Banks 01.60 09°51′N 114°29′E / 9.850°N 114.483°E / 9.850; 114.483 Vietnam

15 West London Reef London Reefs 01.10

Vietnam

16 Central London Reef London Reefs 00.88

Vietnam

17 Flat Island Nanshan Group 00.57 10°49′N 115°49′E / 10.817°N 115.817°E / 10.817; 115.817 Philippines
Philippines
(Patag Island)

18 Lankiam Cay Loaita Bank 00.44 10°43′N 114°32′E / 10.717°N 114.533°E / 10.717; 114.533 Philippines
Philippines
(Panata Island)

The total area of archipelago's naturally occurring islands is 177 ha (440 acres) and 200 ha (490 acres) with reclaimed land.

Spratly Islands

Disputed islands

The Spratly Islands

Geography

Location South China
China
Sea

Coordinates 10°N 114°E / 10°N 114°E / 10; 114Coordinates: 10°N 114°E / 10°N 114°E / 10; 114

Total islands 18 islands and cays

Major islands

Itu Aba
Itu Aba
Island Thitu Island West York Island Spratly Island Northeast Cay Southwest Cay Sin Cowe Island[11]

Area ~200 hectares (490 acres)

Coastline 926 km (575 mi)

Highest point

Southwest Cay 4 metres (13 ft)

Claimed by

Brunei

EEZ Brunei
Brunei
zone

People's Republic of China

Prefecture-level city Sansha, Hainan[12]

Malaysia

State Sabah

Philippines

Municipality Kalayaan

Taiwan

Municipality Kaohsiung

Vietnam

District Trường Sa

Spratly Islands

Chinese name

Traditional Chinese 南沙群島

Simplified Chinese 南沙群岛

Transcriptions

Standard Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin Nánshā Qúndǎo

Yue: Cantonese

Yale Romanization Nàhmsaa Kwùhndóu

Jyutping nam4 saa1 kwun4 dou2

Southern Min

Hokkien
Hokkien
POJ Lâm-soa Kûn-tó

Hainanese
Hainanese
Romanization Nâm-so Kún-tō

Vietnamese name

Vietnamese Quần Đảo Trường Sa

Hán-Nôm 群島長沙

Malay name

Malay Kepulauan Spratly Gugusan Semarang Peninjau[13][14][15][16]

Filipino name

Tagalog Kapuluan ng Kalayaan

A geographic map of Spratlys.[17]

Geology[edit] The Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
consist of islands, reefs, banks and shoals that consist of biogenic carbonate. These accumulations of biogenic carbonate lie upon the higher crests of major submarine ridges that are uplifted fault blocks known by geologists as horsts. These horsts are part of a series of parallel and en echelon, half-grabens and rotated fault-blocks. The long axes of the horsts, rotated fault blocks and half-grabens form well-defined linear trends that lie parallel to magnetic anomalies exhibited by the oceanic crust of the adjacent South China
China
Sea. The horsts, rotated fault blocks, and the rock forming the bottoms of associated grabens consist of stretched and subsided continental crust that is composed of Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous
Cretaceous
strata that include calc-alkalic extrusive igneous rocks, intermediate to acid intrusive igneous rocks, sandstones, siltstones, dark-green claystones, and metamorphic rocks that include biotite–muscovite–feldspar–quartz migmatites and garnet–mica schists.[18][19][20] The dismemberment and subsidence of continental crust into horsts, rotated fault blocks and half-grabens that underlie the Spratly Islands and surrounding sea bottom occurred in two distinct periods. They occurred as the result of the tectonic stretching of continental crust along underlying deeply rooted detachment faults. During the Late Cretaceous
Cretaceous
and Early Oligocene, the earliest period of tectonic stretching of continental crust and formation of horsts, half-grabens, and rotated fault-blocks occurred in association the rifting and later sea-floor spreading that created the South China
China
Sea. During the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene
Miocene
additional stretching and block faulting of continental crust occurred within the Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
and adjacent Dangerous Ground. During and after this period of tectonic activity, corals and other marine life colonised the crests of the horsts and other ridges that lay in shallow water. The remains of these organisms accumulated over time as biogenic carbonates that comprise the current day reefs, shoals and cays of the Spratly Islands. Starting with their formation in Late Cretaceous, fine-grained organic-rich marine sediments accumulated within the numerous submarine half-grabens that underlie sea bottom within the Dangerous Ground region.[18][19][20] The geological surveys show localised areas within the Spratly Islands region are favourable for the accumulation of economic oil and gas reserves. They include thick sequences of Cenozoic
Cenozoic
sediments east of the Spratly Islands. Southeast and west of them, there also exist thick accumulations of sediments that possibly might contain economic oil and gas reserves lie closer to the Spratly Islands.[4][21] Ecology[edit] In some cays in the Spratly Islands, the sand and pebble sediments form the beaches and spits around the island. Under the influence of the dominant wind direction, which changes seasonally, these sediments move around the island to change the shape and size of the island. For example, Spratly Island
Spratly Island
is larger during the northeast monsoon, (about 700 × 300 meters), and smaller during the southwest monsoon (approximately 650 × 320 meters).[22] Some islands may contain fresh groundwater fed by rain. Groundwater levels fluctuate during the day with the rhythm of the tides.[23] Phosphates from bird faeces (guano) are mainly concentrated in the beach rocks by the way of exchange-endosmosis. The principal minerals bearing phosphate are podolite, lewistonite and dehonite.[24] Coral
Coral
reefs[edit] Coral
Coral
reefs are the predominant structures of these islands; the Spratly group contains over 600 coral reefs in total.[3] In April 2015 the New York Times reported that China
China
were using "scores of dredgers" to convert Fiery Cross Reef
Fiery Cross Reef
and several other reefs into military facilities.[25][26] Vegetation[edit] Little vegetation grows on these islands, which are subject to intense monsoons. Larger islands are capable of supporting tropical forest, scrub forest, coastal scrub and grasses. It is difficult to determine which species have been introduced or cultivated by humans. Taiping Island (Itu Aba) was reportedly covered with shrubs, coconut, and mangroves in 1938; pineapple was also cultivated there when it was profitable. Other accounts mention papaya, banana, palm, and even white peach trees growing on one island. A few islands that have been developed as small tourist resorts had soil and trees brought in and planted where there was none.[3] Wildlife[edit] A total of 2,927 marine species have been recorded in the Spratly Sea, including 776 benthic species, 382 species of hard coral, 524 species of marine fish, 262 species of algae and sea grass, 35 species of seabirds, and 20 species of marine mammals and sea turtles.[27] Terrestrial vegetation in the islands includes 103 species of vascular plants of magnolia branches (Magnoliophyta) of 39 families and 79 genera.[27] The islands that do have vegetation provide important habitats for many seabirds and sea turtles.[3] Both the green turtle (Chelonia mydas, endangered) and the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata, critically endangered) formerly occurred in numbers sufficient to support commercial exploitation. These species reportedly continue to nest even on islands inhabited by military personnel (such as Pratas) to some extent, though it is believed that their numbers have declined.[3] Seabirds use the islands as resting, breeding, and wintering sites. Species found here include streaked shearwater (Calonectris leucomelas), brown booby (Sula leucogaster), red-footed booby (S. sula), great crested tern (Sterna bergii), and white tern (Gygis alba). Little information is available regarding the current status of the islands' seabird populations, though it is likely that birds may divert nesting sites to smaller, less disturbed islands. Bird eggs cover the majority of Southwest Cay, a small island in the eastern Danger Zone.[3] A variety of cetaceans such as dolphins,[28] orcas, pilot whales, and sperm whales are also present around the islands.[29][30][31] This ecoregion is still largely a mystery. Scientists have focused their research on the marine environment, while the ecology of the terrestrial environment remains relatively unknown.[3] Ecological hazards[edit] Political instability, tourism and the increasing industrialisation of neighbouring countries has led to serious disruption of native flora and fauna, over-exploitation of natural resources, and environmental pollution. Disruption of nesting areas by human activity and/or by introduced animals, such as dogs, has reduced the number of turtles nesting on the islands. Sea turtles are also slaughtered for food on a significant scale. The sea turtle is a symbol of longevity in Chinese culture and at times the military personnel are given orders to protect the turtles.[3] Heavy commercial fishing in the region incurs other problems. Although it has been outlawed, fishing methods continue to include the use of bottom trawlers fitted with chain rollers. In 1994 a routine patrol by Taiwan's marine navy confiscated more than 200 kg of potassium cyanide solution from fishermen who had been using it for cyanide fishing. These activities have a devastating impact on local marine organisms and coral reefs.[32] Some interest has been taken[by whom?] in regard to conservation of these[which?] island ecosystems. J.W. McManus, professor of marine biology and ecology at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, has explored the possibilities of designating portions of the Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
as a marine park. One region of the Spratly Archipelago, named Truong Sa, was proposed by Vietnam's Ministry of Science, Technology, and the Environment (MOSTE) as a future protected area. The site, with an area of 160 km2 (62 sq mi), is currently managed by the Khánh Hòa Provincial People's Committee of Vietnam.[3] Military groups in the Spratlys have engaged in environmentally damaging activities such as shooting turtles and seabirds, raiding nests and fishing with explosives. The collection of rare medicinal plants, collecting of wood, and hunting for the wildlife trade are common threats to the biodiversity of the entire region, including these islands. Coral
Coral
habitats are threatened by pollution, over-exploitation of fish and invertebrates, and the use of explosives and poisons as fishing techniques.[3] A 2014 United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) report said: "Sand is rarer than one thinks".[33] The average price of sand imported by Singapore
Singapore
was US$3 per tonne from 1995 to 2001, but the price increased to US$190 per tonne from 2003 to 2005.[33] Although the Philippines
Philippines
and China
China
had both ratified the UNCLOS
UNCLOS
III, in the case of and Johnson South Reef, Hughes Reef, Mischief Reef, the PRC dredged sand for free in the EEZ the Philippines[34] had claimed from 1978[35] arguing this is the "waters of China's Nansha Islands." Although the consequences of substrate mining are hidden, they are tremendous.[33] Aggregate particles that are too fine to be used are rejected by dredging boats, releasing vast dust plumes and changing water turbidity...[33] John McManus, a professor of marine biology and ecology at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, said: "The worst thing anyone can do to a coral reef is to bury it under tons of sand and gravel... There are global security concerns associated with the damage. It is likely broad enough to reduce fish stocks in the world's most fish-dependent region." He explained that, "the world has heard little about the damage inflicted by the China
China
to the reefs is that the experts can't get to them." and noted "I have colleagues from the Philippines, Taiwan, PRC, Vietnam
Vietnam
and Malaysia
Malaysia
who have worked in the Spratly area. Most would not be able to get near the artificial islands except possibly some from PRC, and those would not be able to release their findings."[36] History[edit] Records show the islands as inhabited at various times in history by Chinese and Vietnamese fishermen, and during the Second World War
Second World War
by troops from French Indochina
French Indochina
and Japan.[37][38][39] However, there is no record of large settlements on the islands until 1956, when Filipino adventurer Tomás Cloma, Sr., decided to "claim" a part of Spratly islands as his own, naming it the "Free Territory of Freedomland".[40] Early cartography[edit]

Mao Kun map, Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
is suggested to be the islands at the bottom right (Shixing Shitang, 石星石塘).[41] Identification of these islands however may vary, some for example marked them as Macclesfield Bank.[42]

Evidence of man's presence in the region extends back nearly 50,000 years at Tabon Caves
Tabon Caves
on Palawan. Therefore, it is difficult to say when man first came upon this island group. Within historical times, several groups may have passed through or occupied the islands. Between 600 BC to 3 BC there was an East to West migration by members of the seafairing Sa Huỳnh culture. This may have led them through the Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
on their way to Vietnam. These migrants were the forebears of the Cham people
Cham people
that founded the Old Champa
Champa
empire that ruled what was known for centuries as the Champa Sea.[43] [44] In the Song Dynasty
Song Dynasty
work Zhu fan zhi
Zhu fan zhi
by Zhao Rugua, the name "Thousand Li Stretch of Sands" (Qianli Changsha, 千里長沙) and the "Ten-Thousand Li of Stone Pools/Beds" (Wanli Shitang 萬里石塘, or Wanli Shichuang 萬里石床) were given, interpreted by some to refer to Paracel and Spratly respectively.[45] Wanli Shitang is also recorded in the History of Yuan to have been explored by the Chinese during the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty
Yuan dynasty
and may have been considered by them to have been within their national boundaries.[46][47][48] However, the Yuan also ruled over Korea, Mongolia, and parts of modern Russia. They are also referenced, sometimes with different names, in the Ming dynasty.[49][50] For example, in the Mao Kun map
Mao Kun map
dating from Zheng He's voyage of the early 15th century, Shixing Shitang (石星石塘) is taken by some to mean Spratly,[41] however different authors interpret the identities of these islands differently.[42] Another Ming text, Haiyu (海語, On the Sea), uses Wanli Changsha (萬里長沙) for Spratly and noted that it is located southeast of Wanli Shitang (Paracels).[41] When the Ming Dynasty collapsed, the Qing dynasty
Qing dynasty
continued to include the territory in maps compiled in 1724,[51] 1755,[52] 1767,[53] 1810,[54] and 1817,[55] but did not officially claim jurisdiction over these islands.

An 1801 map of the East Indies, South China
China
Sea and area

An 1838 Unified Dai Nam map marking Trường Sa
Trường Sa
and Hoàng Sa, which are considered as Spratly and Paracel Islands
Paracel Islands
by Vietnamese scholars; yet they share different latitude, location, shape and distance.

A Vietnamese map from 1834 also combines the Spratly and Paracel Islands into one region known as "Vạn Lý Trường Sa", a feature commonly incorporated into maps of the era (萬里長沙) ‒ that is, the same as the aforementioned Chinese island name Wanli Changsha.[56] According to Hanoi, Vietnamese maps record Bãi Cát Vàng (Golden Sandbanks, referring to both the Spratly and Paracel Islands), which lay near the coast of the central Vietnam, as early as 1838.[57] In Phủ Biên Tạp Lục (The Frontier Chronicles) by scholar Lê Quý Đôn, both Hoàng Sa
Hoàng Sa
and Trường Sa
Trường Sa
were defined as belonging to the Quảng Ngãi
Quảng Ngãi
District. He described it as where sea products and shipwrecked cargoes were available to be collected. Vietnamese text written in the 17th century referenced government-sponsored economic activities during the Lê dynasty, 200 years earlier. The Vietnamese government conducted several geographical surveys of the islands in the 18th century.[57]

A striking large black and white British chart of the sea in northern Borneo, first issued in 1881 and corrected to 1935.

Despite the fact that China
China
and Vietnam
Vietnam
both made a claim to these territories simultaneously, at the time, neither side was aware that its neighbour had already charted and made claims to the same stretch of islands.[57] An early European map, A correct chart of the China
China
Seas of 1758 by William Herbert, left the Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
region (known then as the Dangerous Ground) as largely blank, indicating that region has yet to be properly surveyed, although some islands and shoals at its western edge were marked (one appears at the same place as Thitu Island).[58][59] A number of maps of the South China
China
Sea were later produced, but the first map that gives a reasonably accurate delineation of the Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
region (titled [South] China
China
Sea, Sheet 1) was only published in 1821 by the hydrographer of the East India
India
Company James Horsburgh after a survey by Captain Daniel Ross. A later 1859 edition of the map named the Spratly Island
Spratly Island
as Storm Island.[58] The islands were sporadically visited throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries by mariners from different European powers (including Richard Spratly, after whom the island group derives its most recognisable English name, who visited the group in the 1840s in his whaler Cyrus).[60] However, these nations showed little interest in the islands. In 1883, German boats surveyed the Spratly and the Paracel Islands
Paracel Islands
but eventually withdrew the survey, after receiving protests from the Guangdong
Guangdong
government representing the Qing dynasty. China
China
sent naval forces on inspection tours in 1902 and 1907 and placed flags and markers on the islands.[61] In the 1950s, a group of individuals claimed sovereignty over the islands in the name of Morton F. Meads, supposedly an American descendant of a British naval captain who gave his name to Meads Island (Itu Aba) in the 1870s. In an affidavit made in 1971, the group claimed to represent the Kingdom of Humanity/Republic of Morac-Songhrati-Meads,[62] which they asserted was in turn the successor entity for a supposed Kingdom of Humanity
Kingdom of Humanity
established between the two world wars on Meads Island, allegedly by the son of the British captain. This claim to this would-be micronation fell dormant after 1972, when several members of the group drowned in a typhoon.[63][64][65][66] Military conflict and diplomatic dialogues[edit] Further information: Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
dispute The following are political divisions for the Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
claimed by various area nations (in alphabetical order):

Brunei: Part of Brunei's Exclusive Economic Zone[67] China: Part of Sansha, Hainan[68] Malaysia: Part of Sabah
Sabah
state Philippines: Part of Kalayaan, Palawan
Kalayaan, Palawan
province Taiwan: Part of Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung
municipality Vietnam: Part of Trường Sa, Khánh Hòa Province

In the 19th century, Europeans found that Chinese fishermen from Hainan
Hainan
annually sojourned on the Spratly islands for part of the year, while in 1877 it was the British who launched the first modern legal claims to the Spratlys.[69][70] When the Spratlys and Paracels were surveyed by Germany in 1883, China issued protests against them. The 1887 Chinese-Vietnamese Boundary convention signed between France and China
China
after the Sino-French War said that China
China
was the owner of the Spratly and Paracel islands.[71][61] China
China
sent naval forces on inspection tours in 1902 and 1907 and placed flags and markers on the islands. The Qing dynasty's successor state, the Republic of China, claimed the Spratly and Paracel islands under the jurisdiction of Hainan.[61] In 1933, France asserted its claims to the Spratly and Paracel Islands[72] on behalf of its then-colony Vietnam.[73] It occupied a number of the Spratly Islands, including Taiping Island, built weather stations on two of the islands, and administered them as part of French Indochina. This occupation was protested by the Republic of China
China
(ROC) government because France admitted finding Chinese fishermen there when French warships visited nine of the islands.[74] In 1935, the ROC government also announced a sovereignty claim on the Spratly Islands. Japan
Japan
occupied some of the islands in 1939 during World War II, and it used the islands as a submarine base for the occupation of Southeast Asia. During the Japanese occupation, these islands were called Shinnan Shoto (新南諸島), literally the New Southern Islands, and together with the Paracel Islands (西沙群岛), they were put under the governance of the Japanese colonial authority in Taiwan. Japan
Japan
occupied the Paracels and the Spratlys from February 1939 to August 1945.[75] Japan
Japan
annexed the Spratlys via Taiwan's jurisdiction and the Paracels via Hainan's jurisdiction.[69] Parts of the Paracels and Spratlys were again controlled by Republic of China
China
after the 1945 surrender of Japan,[76] since the Allied powers assigned the Republic of China
China
to receive Japanese surrenders in that area,[61] however no successor was named to the islands.[76] In November 1946, the ROC sent naval ships to take control of the islands after the surrender of Japan.[75] It had chosen the largest and perhaps the only inhabitable island, Taiping Island, as its base, and it renamed the island under the name of the naval vessel as Taiping. Also following the defeat of Japan
Japan
at the end of World War II, the ROC re-claimed the entirety of the Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
(including Taiping Island) after accepting the Japanese surrender of the islands based on the Cairo and Potsdam Declarations. The Republic of China then garrisoned Itu Aba
Itu Aba
(Taiping) island in 1946 and posted Chinese flags.[69] The aim of the Republic of China
China
was to block the French claims.[61][77] The Republic of China
China
drew up the map showing the U-shaped claim on the entire South China
China
Sea, showing the Spratly and Paracels in Chinese territory, in 1947.[61] Japan
Japan
had renounced all claims to the islands in the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty
San Francisco Peace Treaty
together with the Paracels, Pratas
Pratas
and other islands captured from the Chinese, and upon these declarations, the government of the Republic of China reasserted its claim to the islands. The Chinese Kuomintang
Kuomintang
force withdrew from most of the Spratly and Paracel Islands
Paracel Islands
after they retreated to Taiwan
Taiwan
from the opposing Communist Party of China
China
due to their losses in the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
and the founding of the People's Republic of China
China
(PRC) in 1949.[73] Taiwan
Taiwan
quietly withdrew troops from Taiping Island
Taiping Island
in 1950, but then reinstated them in 1956 in response to Tomás Cloma's sudden claim to the island as part of Freedomland.[78] As of 2013[update], Taiping Island
Taiping Island
is administered by Taiwan.[79] After pulling out its garrison in 1950 when the Republic of China evacuated to Taiwan, when the Filipino Tomas Cloma uprooted an ROC flag on Itu Aba
Itu Aba
laid claim to the Spratlys and, Taiwan
Taiwan
again regarrisoned Itu Aba
Itu Aba
in 1956.[80] In 1946, the Americans allegedly reminded the Philippines
Philippines
at its independence that the Spratlys was not Philippine territory, both to not anger Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
in China
China
and because the Spratlys were not part of the Philippines
Philippines
per the 1898 treaty Spain signed with America.[69] However, no document was found to that effect. The Philippines
Philippines
then claimed the Spratlys in 1971 under President Marcos, after Taiwanese troops attacked and shot at a Philippine fishing boat on Itu Aba.[81] Taiwan's garrison from 1946–1950 and 1956-now on Itu Aba
Itu Aba
represents an "effective occupation" of the Spratlys.[81][82] China
China
established a coastal defence system against Japanese pirates or smugglers.[83]

Territorial monument of the Republic of Vietnam
Vietnam
(South Vietnam) on Southwest Cay, Spratly Islands, defining the cay as part of Vietnamese territory (tp Phước Tuy Province). Used since 22 August 1956 until 1975, when replaced by another one from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Vietnam
(successor state after the Fall of Saigon)

In 1958, China
China
issued a declaration defining its territorial waters that encompassed the Spratly Islands. North Vietnam's prime minister, Phạm Văn Đồng, sent a formal note to Zhou Enlai, stating that the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
Vietnam
(DRV) respected the Chinese decision regarding the 12 nmi (22 km; 14 mi) limit of territorial waters.[84] While accepting the 12-nmi principal with respect to territorial waters, the letter did not actually address the issue of defining actual territorial boundaries. North Vietnam
Vietnam
recognised China's claims on the Paracels and Spratlys during the Vietnam
Vietnam
War as it was being supported by China. Only after winning the war and conquering South Vietnam
Vietnam
did North Vietnam
Vietnam
retract its recognition and admitted it recognised them as part of China
China
to receive aid from China
China
in fighting the Americans.[85][86] In 1988, the Vietnamese and Chinese navies engaged in a skirmish in the area of Johnson South Reef
Johnson South Reef
(also called Yongshu reef in China
China
and Mabini reef in Philippines).[87] Under President Lee Teng-hui, Taiwan
Taiwan
stated that "legally, historically, geographically, or in reality", all of the South China Sea and Spratly islands were Taiwan's territory and under Taiwanese sovereignty, and denounced actions undertaken there by Malaysia
Malaysia
and the Philippines, in a statement on 13 July 1999 released by the foreign ministry of Taiwan.[88] Taiwan
Taiwan
and China's claims "mirror" each other; during international talks involving the Spratly islands, China
China
and Taiwan
Taiwan
have cooperated with each other since both have the same claims.[81][89] It was unclear whether France continued its claim to the islands after World War II, since none of the islands, other than Taiping Island, was habitable. The South Vietnamese government took over the Trường Sa administration after the defeat of the French at the end of the First Indochina War. The French bestowed its titles, rights, and claims over the two island chains to the Republic of Vietnam
Vietnam
(RoV) in accordance with the Geneva Accords, said Nguyen Hong Thao, Associate Professor at Faculty of Law, Vietnam
Vietnam
National University.[90] In 1999, a Philippine navy ship (Number 57 – BRP Sierra Madre) was purposely run aground near Second Thomas Shoal
Second Thomas Shoal
to enable establishment of an outpost. As of 2014[update] it had not been removed, and Filipino marines have been stationed aboard since the grounding.[91][92] Taiwan
Taiwan
and mainland China
China
are largely strategically aligned on the Spratly islands issue, since they both claim exactly the same area, so Taiwan's control of Itu Aba
Itu Aba
(Taiping) island is viewed as an extension of China's claim.[71] Taiwan
Taiwan
and China
China
both claim the entire island chain, while all the other claimaints only claim portions of them. China
China
has proposed co-operation with Taiwan
Taiwan
against all the other countries claiming the islands. Taiwanese lawmakers have demanded that Taiwan
Taiwan
fortify Itu Aba
Itu Aba
(Taiping) island with weapons to defend against the Vietnamese, and both China
China
and Taiwanese NGOs have pressured Taiwan
Taiwan
to expand Taiwan's military capabilities on the island, which played a role in Taiwan
Taiwan
expanding the island's runway in 2012.[93] China
China
has urged Taiwan
Taiwan
to co-operate and offered Taiwan
Taiwan
a share in oil and gas resources while shutting out all the other rival claimaints. Taiwanese lawmakers have complained about repeated Vietnamese aggression and trespassing on Taiwan's Itu Aba
Itu Aba
(Taiping), and Taiwan has started viewing Vietnam
Vietnam
as an enemy over the Spratly Islands, not China.[94] Taiwan's state run oil company CPC Corp's board director Chiu Yi has called Vietnam
Vietnam
as the "greatest threat" to Taiwan.[93] Taiwan's airstrip on Taiping has irritated Vietnam.[95] China
China
views Taiwan's expansion of its military and airstrip on Taiping as benefiting China's position against the other rival claimaints from southeast Asian countries.[82] China's claims to the Spratlys benefit from legal weight because of Taiwan's presence on Itu Aba, while America on the other hand has regularly ignored Taiwan's claims in the South China
China
Sea and does not include Taiwan
Taiwan
in any talks on dispute resolution for the area.[96] Taiwan
Taiwan
performed live fire military exercises on Taiping island in September 2012; reports said that Vietnam
Vietnam
was explicitly named by the Taiwanese military as the "imaginary enemy" in the drill. Vietnam protested against the exercises as violation of its territory and "voiced anger", demanding that Taiwan
Taiwan
stop the drill. Among the inspectors of the live fire drill were Taiwanese national legislators, adding to the tensions.[97] In May 2011, Chinese patrol boats attacked two Vietnamese oil exploration ships near the Spratly Islands.[98] Also in May 2011, Chinese naval vessels opened fire on Vietnamese fishing vessels operating off East London Reef
Reef
(Da Dong). The three Chinese military vessels were numbered 989, 27 and 28, and they showed up with a small group of Chinese fishing vessels. Another Vietnamese fishing vessel was fired on near Fiery Cross Reef
Fiery Cross Reef
(Chu Thap). The Chief Commander of Border Guards in Phú Yên Province, Vietnam
Vietnam
reported that a total of four Vietnamese vessels were fired upon by Chinese naval vessels.[99][not in citation given] These incidents involving Chinese forces sparked mass protests in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi
Hanoi
and Ho Chi Minh City,[100] and in various Vietnamese communities in the West (namely in the US state of California and in Paris) over attacks on Vietnamese citizens and the intrusion into what Vietnam
Vietnam
claimed was part of its territory.[101] In June 2011, the Philippines
Philippines
began officially referring to the South China
China
Sea as the "West Philippine Sea" and the Reed Bank
Reed Bank
as "Recto Bank".[102][103] In July 2012, the National Assembly of Vietnam
Vietnam
passed a law demarcating Vietnamese sea borders to include the Spratly and Paracel Islands.[104][105] In 2010, it was reported that the former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
Mahathir Mohamad
believed Malaysia
Malaysia
could profit from China's economic growth through co-operation with China,[106] and said that China
China
"was not a threat to anyone and was not worried about aggression from China", as well accusing the United States of provoking China
China
and trying to turn China's neighbours against China.[107] Malaysian authorities displayed no concern over China
China
conducting a military exercise at James Shoal
James Shoal
in March 2013,[34] with its Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein
Hishamuddin Hussein
suggested they might work with China
China
and saying that Malaysia
Malaysia
had no problem with China
China
patrolling the South China Sea, and telling ASEAN, America, and Japan
Japan
that "Just because you have enemies, doesn't mean your enemies are my enemies".[108] However, until present Malaysia
Malaysia
still maintained a balance relations with the countries involved in this dispute.[109] But since China
China
has start enroaching its territorial waters,[110] Malaysia
Malaysia
has become active in condemning China.[111][112] The editorial of the Taiwanese news website "Want China
China
Times" accused America for being behind the May 2014 flareup in the South China
China
Sea, saying that Vietnam
Vietnam
rammed a Chinese vessel on 2 May over an oil rig drilling platform and the Philippines
Philippines
detained 11 Chinese fishermens occurred because of Obama's visit to the region and that they were incited by America "behind the scenes". "Want China
China
Times" claimed America ordered Vietnam
Vietnam
on 7 May to complain about the drilling platform, and noted that a joint military exercise was happening at this time between the Philippines
Philippines
and America, and also noted that the American "New York Times" newspaper supported Vietnam.[113] In a series of news stories on 16 April 2015, it was revealed, through photos taken by Airbus, that China
China
had been building an airstrip on Fiery Cross Reef, one of the southern islands. The 10,000-foot-long (3,048 m) runway covers a significant portion of the island, and is viewed as a possible strategic threat to other countries with claims to the islands, such as Vietnam
Vietnam
and the Philippines. Champa
Champa
historically had a large presence in the South China
China
Sea. The Vietnamese broke Champa's power in an invasion of Champa
Champa
in 1471, and then finally conquered the last remnants of the Cham people
Cham people
in an invasion in 1832. A Cham named Katip Suma who received Islamic education in Kelantan declared a Jihad
Jihad
against the Vietnamese, and fighting continued until the Vietnamese crushed the remnants of the resistance in 1835. The Cham organisation Front de Libération du Champa
Champa
was part of the United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races, which waged war against the Vietnamese for independence in the Vietnam
Vietnam
War along with the Montagnard and Khmer Krom
Khmer Krom
minorities. The last remaining FULRO insurgents surrendered to the United Nations in 1992. The Vietnamese government fears that evidence of Champa's influence over the disputed area in the South China
China
Sea would bring attention to human rights violations and killings of ethnic minorities in Vietnam such as in the 2001 and 2004 uprisings, and lead to the issue of Cham autonomy being brought into the dispute, since the Vietnamese conquered the Hindu and Muslim Cham people
Cham people
in a war in 1832.[114] Japanese scholar Taoka Shunji criticised Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe
Shinzō Abe
for trying to falsely portray China
China
as a threat to Japan and that it was invading its neighbours like the Philippines, and pointed out that the Spratly islands were not part of the Philippines when the US acquired the Philippines
Philippines
from Spain in the Treaty of Paris in 1898, and the Japanese ruled Taiwan
Taiwan
itself had annexed the Spratly islands in 1938 and the US ruled Philippines
Philippines
did not challenge the move and never asserted that it was their territory, he also pointed out that other countries did not need to do full land reclamation since they already control islands and that the reason China
China
engaged in extensive land reclamation is because they needed it to build airfields since China
China
only has control over reefs.[115] 2016 PCA Tribunal ruling[edit] Main article: Philippines
Philippines
v. China In January 2013, the Philippines
Philippines
formally initiated arbitration proceedings against China's claim on the territories within the "nine-dash line" that includes Spratly Islands, which it said is "unlawful" under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).[116][117] An arbitration tribunal was constituted under Annex VII of UNCLOS
UNCLOS
and it was decided in July 2013 that the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) would function as registry and provide administrative duties in the proceedings.[118] On July 12, 2016, the arbitrators of the tribunal of PCA agreed unanimiously with the Philippines. They concluded in the award that there was no evidence that China
China
had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or resources, hence there was "no legal basis for China
China
to claim historic rights" over the nine-dash line.[119] Accordingly, the PCA tribunal decision is ruled as final and non-appealable by either countries.[120][121] The tribunal also criticized China's land reclamation projects and its construction of artificial islands in the Spratly Islands, saying that it had caused "severe harm to the coral reef environment".[122] It also characterized Taiping Island
Taiping Island
and other features of the Spratly Islands as "rocks" under UNCLOS, and therefore are not entitled to a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone.[123] China
China
however rejected the ruling, calling it "ill-founded".[124] Taiwan, which currently administers Taiping Island, the largest of the Spratly Islands, also rejected the ruling.[125] Transportation and communication[edit] Airports[edit] See also: List of airports in the Spratly Islands

Location Occupied by Name Code Built Length Notes

Taiping Island Taiwan Taiping Island
Taiping Island
Airport RCSP 2007 1,200 m (est.) Military use only. No refueling facilities. [126]

Swallow Reef Malaysia Layang-Layang Airport LAC 1995 1,367 m Dual-use concrete airport.

Fiery Cross Reef China Yongshu Airport AG 4553 2016 3,300 m (est.) Dual-use concrete airport.

Subi Reef China Zhubi Airport

2016 3,300 m (est.) Dual-use concrete airport.

Mischief Reef China Meiji Airport

2016 2,700 m (est.) Dual-use concrete airport.

Thitu Island
Thitu Island
(Pag-asa) Philippines Rancudo Airfield RPPN 1975 1,300 m (est.) Concrete.[127]

Spratly Island
Spratly Island
(Trường Sa) Vietnam Trường Sa
Trường Sa
Airport

1976-77 1,200 m (est.)[128] Military use only. Extended from 600m to 1,200m in 2016.[128]

Telecommunications[edit] In 2005, a cellular phone base station was erected by the Philippines' Smart Communications
Smart Communications
on Pag-asa Island.[129] On 18 May 2011, China
China
Mobile announced that its mobile phone coverage has expanded to the Spratly Islands. The extended coverage would allow soldiers stationed on the islands, fishermen, and merchant vessels within the area to use mobile services, and can also provide assistance during storms and sea rescues. The service network deployment over the islands took nearly one year.[130] Image gallery[edit]

An ancient Heliotropium foertherianum
Heliotropium foertherianum
on Spratly Island

Young Vietnamese residents of Spratly Island

A military cemetery for Vietnamese soldiers on Central London Reef

A view from Amboyna Cay

The Pearson Reef
Reef
dock under Vietnam's administration

See also[edit]

International relations portal Islands portal

Greater Philippines Great wall of sand Johnson South Reef
Johnson South Reef
Skirmish Junk Keying Kingdom of Humanity List of islands in the South China
China
Sea List of maritime features in the Spratly Islands Natuna Islands Paracel Islands Philippines
Philippines
and the Spratly Islands South China
China
Sea Islands SSN, a computer game set during a conflict over the Spratly Islands. Territorial disputes in the South China
China
Sea Tomás Cloma
Tomás Cloma
and the Free Territory of Freedomland

References[edit]

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Sea: Towards a co-operative management regime (illustrated ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 43. ISBN 0203885244. Retrieved 10 March 2014.  ^ a b Wortzel, Larry M.; Higham, Robin D. S. (1999). Dictionary of Contemporary Chinese Military History (illustrated ed.). ABC-CLIO. p. 180. ISBN 0313293376.  ^ Paracel Islands, worldstatesmen.org ^ a b Spratly Islands[full citation needed], Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2008. All Rights Reserved. ^ Todd C. Kelly, Vietnamese Claims to the Truong Sa Archipelago, Explorations in Southeast Asian Studies, Vol.3, Fall 1999. Archived 2 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b King 1979, p. 43 ^ a b Morley, James W.; Nishihara, Masashi (1997). Vietnam
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Joins the World. M.E. Sharpe. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-7656-3306-4.  ^ Das, Darshana & Lotha, Gloria. "Spratly Islands". Encyclopædia Britannica.  ^ Kivimäki, Timo (2002), War Or Peace in the South China
China
Sea?, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), ISBN 87-91114-01-2 ^ "Taiwan's Power Grab in the South China
China
Sea".  ^ Morley & Nishihara 1997, pp. 125–126 ^ a b c Pak, Hŭi-gwŏn (2000). The Law of the Sea and Northeast Asia: A Challenge for Cooperation. Volume 35 of Publications on Ocean Development (illustrated ed.). Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 91–92. ISBN 9041114076.  ^ a b Lin, Cheng-yi (22 February 2008). "Buffer benefits in Spratly initiative". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  ^ Pak 2000, p. 81 ^ "中华人民共和国外交部".  ^ Morley & Nishihara 1997, pp. 126–127 ^ Thao Vi (2 June 2014). "Late Vietnam
Vietnam
PM's letter gives no legal basis to China's island claim". Thanh Nien News.  ^ Malig, Jojo (17 July 2012). "Chinese ships eye 'bumper harvest' in Spratly". ABS CBN News. Retrieved 29 October 2013.  ^ STRATFOR (14 July 1999). " Taiwan
Taiwan
sticks to its guns, to U.S. chagrin". STRATFOR's Global Intelligence Update. Asia Times. Retrieved 10 March 2014.  ^ Sisci, Francesco (29 June 2010). "US toe-dipping muddies South China Sea". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  ^ Nguyen, Hong Thao (4 May 2012). "Vietnam's Position on the Sovereignty over the Paracels & the Spratlys: Its Maritime Claim" (PDF). Journal of East Asia International Law, V JEAIL (1) 2012. Hanoi: Vietnam
Vietnam
National University.  ^ Keck, Zachary (13 March 2014). " Second Thomas Shoal
Second Thomas Shoal
Tensions Intensify". The Diplomat. Retrieved 17 March 2014.  ^ "A game of shark and minnow". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 March 2014.  ^ a b Kastner, Jens (10 August 2012). " Taiwan
Taiwan
pours cement on maritime dispute". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 10 March 2014.  ^ Kastner, Jens (13 June 2012). " Taiwan
Taiwan
circling South China
China
Sea bait". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  ^ Lee, Peter (29 July 2010). "US goes fishing for trouble". Asia Times Online. p. 2. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  ^ Womack, Brantly (14 February 2013). "Rethinking the US-China-Taiwan triangle". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  ^

"Photo: Taiwan
Taiwan
military exercises with Vietnam
Vietnam
as an imaginary enemy generals admit Taiping Island". newshome.us. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  " Taiwan
Taiwan
holds live-fire drill in Spratlys: official". Taipei Mission in the Republic of Latvia. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  " Taiwan
Taiwan
to stage live-fire drill on disputed island". Space Daily. Agence France-Presse. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  " Taiwan
Taiwan
to stage live-fire drill on disputed island". Business Line. Press Trust of India. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  Yeh, Joseph (23 April 2013). "Drills held on Taiwan-controlled Taiping island in South China
China
Sea". China
China
Post. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  " Vietnam
Vietnam
Demands Taiwan
Taiwan
Cancel Spratly Island
Spratly Island
Live Fire Drill". Bloomberg News. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  " Vietnam
Vietnam
protests Taiwan's fire drill exercise plan on island". thanhniennews. 27 August 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  " Vietnam
Vietnam
protests Taiwan's fire drill exercise plan on island". Thanh Nien News. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  " Taiwan
Taiwan
to hold live-fire drill in Spratlys". InterAksyon. Agence France-Presse. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  " Taiwan
Taiwan
unmoved by Vietnam's protest against Taiping drill". Want China
China
Times : "Knowing China
China
through Taiwan". 5 September 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  " Vietnam
Vietnam
angry at Taiwan
Taiwan
as it stages live-fire drill in the Spratlys". Philippines
Philippines
News. Agence France-Presse. 12 August 2012. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014.  " Taiwan
Taiwan
to conduct live-fire Taiping Island
Taiping Island
drill in September". China Post. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  " Taiwan
Taiwan
plans live-fire drill on Taiping in South China
China
Sea". Taipei Times. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  Carpenter, Ted Galen (28 February 2013). " Taiwan
Taiwan
Challenges Its Neighbors". The National Interest. Retrieved 10 March 2014.  Carpenter, Ted Galen (28 February 2013). " Taiwan
Taiwan
Challenges Its Neighbors". The National Interest. Cato Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014.  Carpenter, Ted Galen (4 March 2013). " Taiwan
Taiwan
Challenges Its Neighbors". Real Clear Politics. Cato Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014.  Carpenter, Ted Galen (28 February 2013). " Taiwan
Taiwan
Challenges Its Neighbors". LibertyVoter.org. Retrieved 10 March 2014.  thanhniennews (27 August 2012). " Vietnam
Vietnam
protests Taiwan's fire drill exercise plan on island". Vietnam
Vietnam
Breaking News.  (AFP) (12 August 2012). "Vietnam's angry at Taiwan
Taiwan
as it stages live-fire drill in the Spratlys". Philippines
Philippines
News. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014.  " Vietnam
Vietnam
protests Taiwan's fire drill exercise plan on island". Thanh Nien News. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 

^ Joseph Santolan (31 May 2011). "Chinese patrol boats confront Vietnamese oil exploration ship in South China
China
Sea – World Socialist Web Site". wsws.org.  ^ "Chinese Boats Cause Thousands of Dollars in Damage to Vietnamese Fishermen's Nets".  ^ "South China
China
Sea: Vietnamese hold anti-Chinese protest". BBC News Asia-Pacific. 5 June 2011.  ^ "Người Việt biểu tình chống TQ ở Los Angeles" (in Vietnamese). BBC News Tiếng Việt. June 2011.  ^ "It's West Philippine Sea". Inquirer.net. 11 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2012.  ^ "Name game: PH now calls Spratly isle 'Recto Bank'". Inquirer.net. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2012.  ^ Jane Perlez (21 June 2012). " Vietnam
Vietnam
Law on Contested Islands Draws China's Ire". The New York Times.  ^ China
China
Criticizes Vietnam
Vietnam
in Dispute Over Islands, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ^ "Mahathir: China
China
no threat to Malaysia". The Star. 27 April 2010. Archived from the original on 30 April 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  ^ Kazuto Tsukamoto (9 November 2011). "Malaysia's Mahathir says China is no threat". The Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  ^

Haslinda Amin (29 August 2013). Malaysia
Malaysia
Breaks Ranks on South China Sea (video). First Up. Bloomberg. Retrieved 14 May 2014.  " Malaysia
Malaysia
splits with ASEAN on China
China
Sea threat". Bloomberg. Business Mirror. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 

^ Camille Diola (25 June 2014). "Why Malaysia, unlike Philippines, keeps quiet on sea row". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 25 June 2014.  ^ "Presence of China
China
Coast Guard ship at Luconia Shoals
Luconia Shoals
spooks local fishermen". The Borneo Post. 27 September 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2015.  ^ " Malaysia
Malaysia
lodges diplomatic protest against intrusion at Beting Patinggi Ali". Bernama. The Rakyat Post. 15 August 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015.  ^ Ben Blanchard; Richard Pullin (18 October 2015). " Malaysia
Malaysia
slams China's 'provocation' in South China
China
Sea". Reuters. Channel News Asia. Retrieved 20 October 2015. [dead link] ^ Editorial, 13 May 2014, Want China
China
Times ^ Bray, Adam (16 June 2014). "The Cham: Descendants of Ancient Rulers of South China
China
Sea Watch Maritime Dispute From Sidelines". National Geographic News. National Geographic. Archived from the original on 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.  ^ Taoka, Shunji (21 September 2015). Translated by Rumi Sakamoto. "' China
China
Threat Theory' Drives Japanese War Legislation". The Asia-Pacific Journal. Japan
Japan
Focus. 13 (38 no. 5). Retrieved 26 September 2015.  ^ "Timeline: South China
China
Sea dispute". Financial Times. 12 July 2016.  ^ Beech, Hannah (11 July 2016). "China's Global Reputation Hinges on Upcoming South China
China
Sea Court Decision". TIME.  ^ "Press Release: Arbitration between the Republic of the Philippines and the People's Republic of China: Arbitral Tribunal Establishes Rules of Procedure and Initial Timetable". PCA. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2016.  ^ "Press Release: The South China
China
Sea Arbitration (The Republic of the Philippines
Philippines
v. The People's Republic of China)" (PDF). PCA. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2016.  ^ "A UN-appointed tribunal dismisses China's claims in the South China Sea". The Economist. 12 July 2016.  ^ Perez, Jane (12 July 2016). "Beijing's South China
China
Sea Claims Rejected by Hague Tribunal". The New York Times.  ^ Tom Phillips, Oliver Holmes, Owen Bowcott (12 July 2016). "Beijing rejects tribunal's ruling in South China
China
Sea case". The Guardian. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ Chow, Jermyn (12 July 2016). " Taiwan
Taiwan
rejects South China
China
Sea ruling, says will deploy another navy vessel to Taiping". The Straits Times.  ^ "South China
China
Sea: Tribunal backs case against China
China
brought by Philippines". BBC. 12 July 2016.  ^ Jun Mai, Shi Jiangtao (12 July 2016). "Taiwan-controlled Taiping Island is a rock, says international court in South China
China
Sea ruling". South China
China
Morning Post. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ The Taiping Island
Taiping Island
Airport was completed in December 2007, ("MND admits strategic value of Spratly airstrip." Taipei Times. 6 January 2006. p. 2 (MND is the ROC Ministry of National Defense)), and a C-130 Hercules transporter airplane first landed on the island on 21 January 2008. ^ Bong Lozada (18 June 2014). "Air Force to repair Pagasa Island airstrip". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2016-12-26.  ^ a b " Vietnam
Vietnam
Responds". Center for Strategic and International Studies. 2016-12-01. Retrieved 2016-12-26.  ^ Kalayaan Islands of Palawan
Palawan
Province (video part 1 of 2), 14 November 2009 ^ Ian Mansfield, 18 May 2011, China
China
Mobile Expands Coverage to the Spratly Islands, Cellular News

Further reading[edit]

Bonnet, François-Xavier (2012) Geopolitics of Scarborough Shoal, Irasec, 14. Bouchat, Clarence J. (2013) Dangerous Ground: The Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
and U.S. Interests and Approaches, Strategic Studies Institute
Strategic Studies Institute
and US Army War College Press, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Cardenal, Juan Pablo; Araújo, Heriberto (2011). La silenciosa conquista china (in Spanish). Barcelona: Crítica. pp. 258–261.  Dzurek, Daniel J. and Clive H.Schofield. (1996) The Spratly Islands dispute: who's on first?. IBRU. ISBN 978-1-897643-23-5 Hogan, C. Michael (2011) "South China
China
Sea", Encyclopedia of Earth, National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington, D.C.. Menon, Rajan (11 September 2012) "Worry about Asia, Not Europe", The National Interest, Issue: Sept–Oct 2012.

External links[edit]

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Wikimedia Atlas of the Spratly Islands Mariner's page of the Spratly Islands Taiwanese List with ~170 entries List of atolls with areas Satellite images of all islands and reefs of the Spratly Islands. at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived 23 December 2010) Map showing the claims A tabular summary about the Spratly and Paracel Islands CIA World Factbook for Spratly Islands "Vietnamese claims" (PDF).  (1.70 MB), from Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs Google Map of Spratly Islands Ji Guoxing (October 1995), Maritime Jurisdiction in the Three China Seas: Options For Equitable Settlement (PDF), Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.  A collection of documents on Spratly and Paracel Islands
Paracel Islands
by Nguyen Thai Hoc Foundation Depositional and erosional of the coast and beach, and change of morphology of Spratly coral island Results of premininary survey for the underground water in Spratly coral island Some geological features of Spratly Island Vietnamese sea and islands – position resources, and typical geological and ecological wonders Some researches on marine topography and sedimentation in Spratly Islands "Analysis Brief : Spratly Islands". US Energy Information Administration. 

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Spratly Islands

Related articles

Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
dispute Great wall of sand History of the Spratly Islands List of airports in the Spratly Islands List of maritime features in the Spratly Islands Philippines
Philippines
and the Spratly Islands Republic of Morac-Songhrati-Meads Territorial disputes in the South China
China
Sea Nine-dash line

Confrontations

Southwest Cay
Southwest Cay
incident (1975) Johnson South Reef
Johnson South Reef
Skirmish (1988)

Regions

Dangerous Ground Loaita Bank London Reefs North Danger Reef Reed Bank Tizard Bank Union Banks

Occupied features

China

Cuarteron Reef Fiery Cross Reef Gaven Reefs Hughes Reef Johnson South Reef Mischief Reef Subi Reef

Malaysia

Ardasier Reef Dallas Reef Erica Reef Investigator Shoal Mariveles Reef Swallow Reef

Philippines

Commodore Reef Flat Island Irving Reef Lankiam Cay Loaita Island Nanshan Island Northeast Cay Second Thomas Shoal Thitu Island West York Island

Taiwan

Taiping Island Zhongzhou Reef

Vietnam

Amboyna Cay Bombay Castle Collins Reef Cornwallis South Reef Ladd Reef Namyit Island Sand Cay Sin Cowe Island Southwest Cay Spratly Island

Unoccupied features

Half Moon Shoal Louisa Reef Luconia Shoals North East Investigator Shoal Royal Captain Shoal Sabina Shoal Western Reef

v t e

Territorial disputes in East, South, and Southeast Asia

Land Islands and waters

Bhutanese enclaves
Bhutanese enclaves
( ) Bolshoy Ussuriysky/Heixiazi Island1 ( ) Kashmir2 ( ) Khao Phra Wihan1 ( ) Kalapani Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
( )

Mainland China
China
( ) North Borneo
North Borneo
(Sabah)1 ( ) Sixty-Four Villages East of the River1 ( ) South Tibet / Arunachal Pradesh ( ) Tannu Tuva
Tuva
( ) Mongolia1 ( ) Jiangxinpo / Northern Kachin1 ( )

Kuril ( ) Liancourt Rocks ( ) Noktundo1 ( ) Paracels ( ) Senkaku ( ) Scarborough Shoal
Scarborough Shoal
( )

Sir Creek1 ( ) Spratlys2 ( ) Taiwan
Taiwan
Area ( ) Bạch Long Vĩ island1 ( ) Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge ( )

1: Inactive dispute 2: Divided among multiple claimants

Links to related articles

v t e

Districts of South Central Coast (Nam Trung Bộ), Vietnam

Da Nang

Cẩm Lệ Hải Châu Hòa Vang Hoàng Sa
Hoàng Sa
(Paracel Islands, disputed) Liên Chiểu Ngu Hanh Son Sơn Trà Thanh Khê

Quảng Nam Province

Tam Kỳ Hội An Bắc Trà My Duy Xuyên Đại Lộc Điện Bàn Đông Giang Hiệp Đức Nam Giang Nam Trà My Nông Sơn Núi Thành Phú Ninh Phước Sơn Quế Sơn Tây Giang Thăng Bình Tiên Phước

Quảng Ngãi
Quảng Ngãi
Province

Quảng Ngãi Ba Tơ Bình Sơn Đức Phổ Minh Long Mộ Đức Nghĩa Hành Sơn Hà Sơn Tây Sơn Tịnh Tây Trà Trà Bồng Tư Nghĩa Lý Sơn

Bình Định Province

Qui Nhơn An Lão An Nhơn Hoài Ân Hoài Nhơn Phù Cát Phù Mỹ Tuy Phước Tây Sơn Vân Canh Vĩnh Thạnh

Phú Yên Province

Tuy Hòa Đồng Xuân Sông Cầu Sơn Hòa Phú Hòa Tây Hòa Đông Hòa Sông Hinh

Khánh Hòa Province

Nha Trang Cam Ranh Khánh Sơn Khánh Vĩnh Cam Lâm Diên Khánh Ninh Hòa Trường Sa
Trường Sa
(Spratly Islands, disputed) Vạn Ninh

v t e

  Administrative divisions of the Philippines

Capital

Manila
Manila
(National Capital Region)

Island groups

Luzon Visayas Mindanao

Regions

Administrative

I – Ilocos Region II – Cagayan
Cagayan
Valley III – Central Luzon IV-A – Calabarzon Mimaropa
Mimaropa
– Southwestern Tagalog Region V – Bicol Region VI – Western Visayas VII – Central Visayas VIII – Eastern Visayas IX – Zamboanga Peninsula X – Northern Mindanao XI – Davao Region XII – Soccsksargen XIII – Caraga CAR – Cordillera Administrative Region NCR – National Capital Region

Autonomous

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

Provinces

Abra Agusan del Norte Agusan del Sur Aklan Albay Antique Apayao Aurora Basilan Bataan Batanes Batangas Benguet Biliran Bohol Bukidnon Bulacan Cagayan Camarines Norte Camarines Sur Camiguin Capiz Catanduanes Cavite Cebu Compostela Valley Cotabato Davao del Norte Davao del Sur Davao Occidental Davao Oriental Dinagat Islands Eastern Samar Guimaras Ifugao Ilocos Norte Ilocos Sur Iloilo Isabela Kalinga La Union Laguna Lanao del Norte Lanao del Sur Leyte Maguindanao Marinduque Masbate Misamis Occidental Misamis Oriental Mountain Province Negros Occidental Negros Oriental Northern Samar Nueva Ecija Nueva Vizcaya Occidental Mindoro Oriental Mindoro Palawan Pampanga Pangasinan Quezon Quirino Rizal Romblon Samar Sarangani Siquijor Sorsogon South Cotabato Southern Leyte Sultan Kudarat Sulu Surigao del Norte Surigao del Sur Tarlac Tawi-Tawi Zambales Zamboanga del Norte Zamboanga del Sur Zamboanga Sibugay

Cities

List of cities in the Philippines

Municipalities

List of cities and municipalities in the Philippines

Barangays

Lists of barangays by province Poblacion

Other subdivisions

Puroks Sitios List of primary LGUs Legislative districts Metropolitan areas

Historical

Former provinces Formally proposed provinces Negros Island Region Southern Tagalog

v t e

Territories claimed by the Philippines

Current

Sabah
Sabah
/ North Borneo

dispute

South China
China
Sea

Philippines
Philippines
v. China Scarborough Shoal Spratly Islands

dispute Philippine activities

Former

Miangas
Miangas
/ Island of Palmas

case

v t e

Physical geography of Sabah

Bays

Agal Brunei Cowie Darvel Kimanis Labuk Marchesa Marudu Padas Paitan Sandakan Sepanggar Schomburgk Tambak

Capes

Tanjung Simpang Mengayau

Rivers

Atling Bunsit Kibunut Kinabatangan Kolopis Labuk Liwagu Menggatal Moyog Mulau Padas Papar Pegalan Segama Sugut Tuaran

Mountains & mountain ranges

Kinabalu Danum Crocker

Peninsula

Northwestern Peninsula Pitas Peninsula Semporna Peninsula Sandakan Peninsula

Waterfalls

Mahua Waterfall Maliau Falls

Valleys

Kundasang Valley

Caves

Agop Batu Tulug Gomantong Madai

Volcanic fields

Bombalai Hill

Islands

List of islands disputed Spratly Islands

Laya Layang Layang Mantanani Peninjau Siput Ubi

v t e

County-level divisions of Hainan
Hainan
Province

Haikou
Haikou
(capital)

Prefecture level

Prefecture-level cities

Haikou

Longhua District Meilan District Qiongshan District Xiuying District

Sanya

Jiyang District Tianya District Haitang District Yazhou District

Sansha

Sansha

Xisha District*

Yongxing Town (Yongxing Management Area) Qilianyu Management Area Yongle Archipelago
Archipelago
Management Area

Nansha District*

(directly governed — no township-level divisions)

Zhongsha District*

(unincorporated)

* Not a formal administrative subdivision

Danzhou

v t e

Danzhou

Towns

Nada Heqing Nanfeng Dacheng Yaxing Lanyang Guangcun Mutang Haitou Eman Sandou

Yangpu EDZ

Wangwu Baimajing Zhonghe Paipu Dongcheng Xingzhou

County level

County-level cities

Wuzhishan Qionghai Wenchang Wanning Dongfang

Counties

Ding'an Tunchang Chengmai Lingao

Autonomous counties

Baisha Changjiang Ledong Lingshui Baoting Qiongzhong

Township-level divisions of Hainan Politics of Hainan

v t e

South China
China
Sea

Pratas
Pratas
Islands

Pratas
Pratas
Island

Paracel Islands

Amphitrite Group

Rocky Island Tree Island West Sand Woody Island Qilian Yu

Crescent Group

Money Island Robert Island Yagong Island

Other features

Bombay Reef Triton Island

NorthEast SCS

Zhongsha Islands Macclesfield Bank

Walker Shoal

Scarborough Shoal

Spratly Islands

List of maritime features in the Spratly Islands Great Wall of Sand Royal Malaysian Navy Offshore Bases Vietnamese DK1 rigs List of airports in the Spratly Islands

Dangerous Ground

NW

North Danger Reef

Northeast Cay Southwest Cay

Thitu Reefs

Thitu Island Subi Reef

Loaita Bank

Lankiam Cay Loaita Island

Tizard Bank

Ban Than Reef Gaven Reefs Itu Aba Namyit Island Sand Cay

NNW

Irving Reef West York Island

WNW

Western Reef

NE

Flat Island Nanshan Island Reed Bank Third Thomas Shoal

SE

Commodore Reef First Thomas Shoal Mischief Reef Sabina Shoal Second Thomas Shoal

SW

Union Banks

Collins Reef Hughes Reef Johnson South Reef Sin Cowe Island

Ardasier Reef Cornwallis South Reef Dallas Reef Erica Reef Investigator Shoal Mariveles Reef

West

London Reefs

Central London Reef Cuarteron Reef East London Reef West London Reef

Bombay Castle Fiery Cross Reef Ladd Reef Spratly Island

East

Royal Captain Shoal Half Moon Shoal

South

Amboyna Cay Louisa Reef Swallow Reef

Southern SCS

James Shoal Luconia Shoals

Tudjuh Archipelago

Natuna Islands Anambas Islands Badas Islands Tambelan Archipelago

History

Territorial disputes History of the Spratly Islands Nine-Dash Line Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
dispute Philippines
Philippines
and the Spratly Islands Battle of the Paracel Islands
Paracel Islands
(1974) Southwest Cay
Southwest Cay
incident (1975) Johnson South Reef
Johnson South Reef
Skirmish (1988) Scarborough Shoal
Scarborough Shoal
standoff (2012) Hai Yang Shi You 981 standoff
Hai Yang Shi You 981 standoff
(2014)

Transport

Ships

Coconut
Coconut
Princess

Airports

Pratas
Pratas
Is Paracel Islands
Paracel Islands
Airports

Woody Is

Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
Airports

Itu Aba Spratly Is Swallow Reef Thitu Is

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 23680

.