Contention over South China Sea

Places in news: Paracel Islands

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Map marking of Paracel Islands

Mains level : South China Sea Row

A United States warship sailed through the Paracel Islands in the disputed South China Sea.

Paracel Islands

  • The Paracel Islands, also known as the Xisha Islands are a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea.
  • The archipelago includes about 130 small coral islands and reefs, most grouped into the northeast Amphitrite Group or the western Crescent Group.
  • They are distributed over a maritime area of around 15,000 square kilometers with a land area of approximately 7.75 square kilometers.
  • The archipelago includes Dragon Hole, the deepest underwater sinkhole in the world.
  • It is surrounded by productive fishing grounds and a seabed with potential, but as yet unexplored, oil and gas reserves.
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