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Spratly Islands Geography

MapSpratly.gif (28968 bytes)

Location: Southeastern Asia, group of reefs in the South China Sea, about two-thirds of the way  from southern Vietnam to the southern Philippines

Area:  total area: NA sq km but less than 5 km2
land area: less than 5 sq km
comparative area: NA
note: includes 100 or so islets, coral reefs, and sea mounts scattered over the South China Sea
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 926 km
Maritime claims: NA

International disputes: 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  economic zone, which encompasses Louisa Reef, but has not publicly claimed the island

Climate: tropical
Terrain: flat
Natural resources: fish, guano, undetermined oil and natural gas potential

Land use: arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 0%
forest and woodland: 0%
other: 100%
Irrigated land: 0 sq km

Environment: current issues: NA
natural hazards: typhoons; serious maritime hazard because of numerous reefs and shoals
international agreements: NA

Note: strategically located near several primary shipping lanes in the central South China Sea; includes numerous small islands, atolls, shoals, and coral reefs

Population: no indigenous inhabitants; note - there are scattered garrisons


conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Spratly Islands

Digraph: PG


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.

Industries: none


Ports: none

Airports:  total: 4
with paved runways under 914 m: 3
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1

Communications, Telephone system:
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: NA

broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA
radios: NA

broadcast stations: NA
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Note: about 50 small islands or reefs are occupied by China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan,  and Vietnam.