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The Paracel Islands are disputed islands and reefs north
of the Equator, and some 375 km east of Da Nang, Vietnam.
You will only get to visit the Paracel Islands if you join the Chinese
navy. Although much nearer to Vietnam than China,
the Paracel Islands would probably not change hands without a fight.
North Vietnamese land forces might have held off the Chinese in
the past, but a battle in the South China Sea would be costly.
The Chinese have port facilities on Paracel's Woody Island and the
base at Duncan Island is being expanded. There is also a paved runway on Woody Island.
Something says that the Chinese want to stay put on the Paracel
Islands for the oil reserves beneath the ocean.
The Paracel Islands were part of French Indochina, until the Japanese
took hold of them during the Second World War.
Although the Chinese military occupy the Paracel Islands at present, Vietnam
and Taiwan both have claims to
See also Spratly Islands.
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