Christmas Island


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Christmas Island,

tropical island (2001 pop. 1,508), 60 sq mi (155 sq km), an external territory of Australia, in the Indian Ocean c.200 mi (320 km) S of Java. The majority of the inhabitants are descendants of Chinese and Malays who came to work the extensive phosphate deposits. Mining began in the 1890s and stopped in 1987 as high-quality deposits were exhausted. It was revived in 1990 to extract lower-grade phosphate. Much of the island is now a national park, and there is limited tourism. The island was annexed by Great Britain in 1888 and became part of the former Straits SettlementsStraits Settlements,
collective name for certain former British colonies in Southeast Asia. The three British East India Company territories of Pinang, Singapore, and Malacca (see Melaka) were given a unified administration in 1826 and called the Straits Settlements.
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 in 1889. In 1958 it was ceded to Australia. The island has been used to detain and process Asian asylum seekers who are intercepted at sea and to hold criminals who have had their visas revoked.

Christmas Island,

atoll: see KiritimatiKiritimati
, largest atoll in the Pacific (1990 pop. 2,537), 222 sq mi (575 sq km), in the Line Islands, one of the island groups that compose the Republic of Kiribati. It was previously called Christmas Island when it made up part of the former British colony of the Gilbert and
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.

Christmas Island

 

an island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Governed by the Commonwealth of Australia. Area, 156 sq km. Population, 3,400 (1970 estimate). Christmas Island has elevations to 356 m. The vegetation is tropical. There are extensive phosphate deposits on the island.


Christmas Island

 

one of the largest atolls in the Pacific Ocean, in the Line Islands. Part of the British Gilbert Islands possession. Area, 359 sq km. Circumference, 260 km. Population, 367 (1968). There are coconut plantations on the island; pearling is an important industry. Christmas Island was discovered by J. Cook in 1777.

Christmas Island

1. the former name (until 1981) of Kiritimati
2. an island in the Indian Ocean, south of Java: administered by Singapore (1900--58), now by Australia; phosphate mining. Pop.: 1500 (2004 est.). Area: 135 sq. km (52 sq. miles)
References in periodicals archive ?
The project was made possible with the Coalition Government investing $450,000 and the Shire of Christmas Island contributing $58,349.
Ann said: "Justin joined the forces and a military dentist asked if he'd been to Christmas Island.
It is a hardened criminal population that occupies the immigration detention center on Christmas Island," he said.
We are not here to fight with anybody," said Saeed Abdallah, whose son Mohammad Assad is currently detained on Christmas Island.
Christmas Island is a popular destination for asylum seekers who crowd into rickety boats at Indonesian ports and pay people smugglers to ferry them to Australian shores.
The incident occured about 87 nautical miles (161 km) north of Christmas Island located between Indonesia and Australia, the authorities received initial report at approximately 11:15 am local time on Friday suggesting the vessel was in need of assistance, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said in a statement.
Christmas Island - which lies about 2,600km (1,600 miles) from Australia but only 300km south of Indonesia - is often targeted because it is the closest piece of Australian territory to Indonesia.
He said: "Before we went to Christmas island, I went on a Atomic Bacterial and Chemical Warfare course with the Royal Engineers.
8 megaton bomb - equivalent to two million tonnes of TNT - explode in the skies over Christmas Island in 1957.
The area is midway between Christmas Island and the main Indonesian island of Java.
The men were all involved in Britain's nuclear weapons tests on Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean in the 50s and 60s.
Among them was Almondbury man Peter Brook, pictured, who witnessed several nuclear tests in two stints on Christmas Island in the Pacific and later suffered from bladder cancer.

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