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Spratly Islands (2003)

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Spratly Islands 2003 year

 Spratly Islands
Airports 3 (2002)
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)
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
Background 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 50 islands are occupied by China (about 450 soldiers), Malaysia (70-90), the Philippines (about 100), and Vietnam (about 1,500). Brunei is a claimant but has no outposts. (2002)
Climate tropical
Coastline 926 km
Country name conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Spratly Islands
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; claimants in November 2002 signed the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea", a mechanism to ease tension but which fell short of a legally binding "code of conduct"
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.
Elevation extremes lowest point: South China Sea 0 m

highest point: unnamed location on Southwest Cay 4 m
Environment - current issues NA
Geographic coordinates 8 38 N, 111 55 E
Geography - note strategically located near several primary shipping lanes in the central South China Sea; includes numerous small islands, atolls, shoals, and coral reefs
Irrigated land 0 sq km (1998 est.)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 100% (1998 est.)
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
Map references Southeast Asia
Maritime claims NA
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
Natural hazards typhoons; serious maritime hazard because of numerous reefs and shoals
Natural resources fish, guano, undetermined oil and natural gas potential
Population no indigenous inhabitants

note: there are scattered garrisons occupied by personnel of several claimant states (July 2003 est.)
Ports and harbors none; offshore anchorage only
Terrain flat
Waterways none
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