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.
- 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.