Paracel Islands


Also found in: Dictionary, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to Paracel Islands: Spratly Islands

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.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
According to the PLAN's official encyclopedia, "The Paracel Islands serve as Chinas natural protective screen and outpost.
Islands in the northern reaches of the South China Sea, including the Paracel Islands between Vietnam, China, and Taiwan
China and Vietnam quarrel over a Chinese oil rig in the Paracel Islands and file claims with UN; poor military discipline risks the outbreak of fighting
The incident reportedly occurred last Wednesday in Vietnamese-claimed waters off the Paracel islands.
China's recent announcement of a troop deployment to the Paracel Islands followed a month in which competing territorial claimants heightened their rhetoric, China's naval presence in disputed areas became more visible, and the Chinese divided the Association of South East Asian Nations, whose foreign ministers could not agree on a communique for the first time in 45 years.
The remote Paracel Islands, an archipelago of around 130 islets, rocks, reefs and spits located about 400 kilometres off the east coast of Vietnam, are proving to be a troublesome issue for Chinese-Vietnamese relations, while also providing a reminder of China's willingness to assert its strategic presence in Southeast Asia.
The ASEAN senior officials have agreed the document will use wording such as ''disputed areas in the South China Sea,'' instead of clearly stating area such as the Spratly Islands or the Paracel Islands.
He also noted the extensive construction of facilities in the Paracel Islands, another group of maritime features in the South China Sea that is contested by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, although not the Philippines.
China fully took over the Paracel Islands in 1974 after forcing the navy of the-then South Vietnam off its holdings.
Following this, China's military aircraft would be able to fly over almost all of the South China Sea with the help of three air bases in the Spratly Islands, and one on Woody Island, the largest of the Paracel Islands.
The island, a scheduled part of the Paracel Islands chain in the South China Sea, is likewise arrogated by Taiwan and Vietnam.
Suga made remarks after the Aegis destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur sailed within 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) of Triton Island in Beijing-controlled Paracel Islands on Saturday.