Paracel Islands

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Paracel Islands

(päräsĕl`), Chin. Xisha, group of low coral islands and reefs in the South China Sea, c.175 mi (280 km) SE of Hainan island. They are rich in guano and are underlain by oil deposits. Prior to World War II the islands were part of French Indochina and served as a weather station. During the war they were occupied by Japan but passed to China and French Indochina (later South Vietnam) in the postwar years. The South Vietnamese maintained a weather station and small garrison there until 1974, when they were attacked and driven from the islands by Chinese armed forces; China administers the islands as part of Hainan prov. Chinese ownership of the archipelago is contested by Vietnam and Taiwan.
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It emphasized that the operation of the drilling platform and supporting ships constitutes an intentional and grave violation of Viet Nam s sovereignty and jurisdiction on the Hoang Sa Archipelago, and its Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf.
The ship went on a three-day trip to the Paracel Islands group -- Hoang Sa in Vietnamese and Xisha in Chinese -- over which Beijing and Hanoi have a long-standing territorial dispute, to investigate possible tourism routes.
He said : "Vietnam has historical evidence and legal ground to prove its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos as well as the sovereign right and jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in accordance with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Keppel FELS has so far built numerous important offshore works for Vietnam, including the Tam Dao jackup rig and the 1,200 tonne Hoang Sa ship.