• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 2:30pm
Paracel Islands

Paracel Islands

The Paracel Islands, known as the Xisha Islands in China and the Hoang Sa Archipelago in Vietnam, is a group of more than 30 islands in the South China Sea located between the coastlines of Vietnam and China. They are currently controlled by China but also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam. The islands were the scene of a naval battle between China and then South Vietnam in January 1974, after which China gained control of the entire archipelago.

PLA reports maritime drill near Vietnam simulating threat to oil rig

The Chinese oil rig HD 981 in disputed waters off Vietnam is surrounded by Chinese coastguard ships in May. Photo: Reuters

The People's Liberation Army recently staged a drill in waters close to Vietnam in the South China Sea, simulating a scenario in which an oil rig was surrounded by foreign fishing boats.

Sunday, 24 August, 2014, 5:22am 2 comments

Oil rig stops exploration work near disputed Paracel Islands a month early

A Chinese coastguard vessel on patrol near the oil exploration rig in the South China Sea, which has now been moved. Photo: Reuters

Beijing has wrapped up sooner than expected a controversial oil rig's exploration work that triggered deadly anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam.

17 Jul 2014 - 10:41am 5 comments

Defiant China moves second oil rig closer to Vietnam, near three other drilling platforms

Photos: Xinhua, EPA

China says it is moving a second oil rig closer to Vietnam, close to where it already has three other drilling platforms, showing its determination to press its South China Sea claims.

17 Jul 2014 - 10:41am 10 comments

Vietnam urges China to withdraw oil rig from South China Sea

Officers of the Vietnamese Marine Guard talk as they monitor a Chinese coastguard vessel in the South China Sea, about 210km off the shore of Vietnam. Photo: Reuters

Vietnam’s UN ambassador urged China on Tuesday to withdraw its oil rig and more than 100 ships from the South China Sea to create “an environment” for negotiations on the disputed waters.

But Ambassador Le Hoai Trung said that Beijing refuses to engage in dialogue and insists there is no dispute, claiming the area around the rig belongs to China.

17 Jul 2014 - 10:41am 2 comments

Chinese officials fill up first Sansha cruise in disputed seas

Sansha, on an island in the disputed Paracel chain, is now considered by China part of Hainan province. Photo: AFP

More civil servants than actual tourists climbed aboard the first Chinese cruise ship to visit disputed South China Sea islands on Sunday.

29 Apr 2013 - 4:20pm 2 comments

Chinese tour ship sets sail to disputed Paracel islands

Plans to allow tourists to visit the Paracel Islands is the latest stage in China’s development of the territory, which has previously angered Vietnam and caused concern in Washington.

28 Apr 2013 - 4:39pm

Woody Island cruises to start in Hainan this month amid sea disputes

A China Marine Surveillance worker heads to Woody Island, Sansha city, Hainan. Island tours will start this month, but visitors cannot stay overnight. Photo: Xinhua

The Hainan provincial government will begin sightseeing cruises to China's newest city, Sansha on tiny Woody Island, this month, a deputy governor of the province said yesterday.

7 Apr 2013 - 5:56pm 1 comment

China patrols disputed waters, denies firing on Vietnamese boat

Crew members of a fishery administration ship attend a ceremony before leaving the Xingang Port of Haikou before conducting patrols in the South China Sea. Photo: AP

China’s increasingly powerful navy has denied firing on a Vietnamese boat in disputed waters in the South China Sea, state media said on Wednesday, as its craft made wide-ranging patrols of the region.

28 Mar 2013 - 1:51am

Vietnam anti-China activists mark island battle

Vietnamese protesters shout anti-China slogans during a flower-laying ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1988 naval battle between China and Vietnam near Spratly reefs. Photo: Reuters

Activists in Hanoi chanted anti-China slogans and laid flowers on Thursday at a protest marking the anniversary of a battle over the contested Spratly Islands in which 64 Vietnamese soldiers died.

14 Mar 2013 - 3:47pm

PLA carries out defence drills in Shenyang, Jinan and Sansha

Air defence exercises formed a major part of the test runs.

The People's Liberation Army held a series of preparedness drills in Shenyang, Jinan and newly established Sansha in Hainan, the city created by Beijing to oversee disputed islands in the South China Sea.

The military drills on Wednesday were aimed at enhancing soldiers' combat consciousness and capabilities, the People's Liberation Army Daily reported.

4 Jan 2013 - 4:34am

China decries attempts to 'read too much into' passport map

Disputed islands and territorial waters appear on a map of China that includes the South China Sea, printed in new Chinese passports. Photo: EPA

China said on Wednesday that people should not read too much into the placement of a new map in its passports that depicts claims to disputed maritime territory.

28 Nov 2012 - 8:16pm 2 comments

US to raise passports row with China, calling it 'unhelpful'

Signs at a passport office in Beijing announce new editions will be issued. Photo: AP

The United States plans to raise controversial new Chinese passports with Beijing, saying the documents featuring a map laying claim to disputed islands, were not helpful.

“We do have concerns about this map, which is causing tension and anxiety between and among the states in the South China Sea,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

China to ramp up development on disputed Paracel island

China's Sansha, the "capital" city of Yongxing, one of the Paracel islands also claimed neighbouring countries. Photo: AFP

China is to ramp up development on a disputed South China Sea island, a local government chief has said, in a move likely to stoke a growing territorial row with its neighbours.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Major development plan for Woody Island unveiled

Sansha city on Woody Island. Photo: AFP

Beijing will spend more than 10 billion yuan (HK$12.3 billion) to upgrade military and civilian infrastructure at its settlement on Woody Island, a move likely to irk countries with competing claims in the surrounding South China Sea.

4 Nov 2012 - 4:14am 1 comment

Asia's fishermen in middle of South China Sea row

Fishing vessels prepare to leave from Ly Son Island to fish in waters off the disputed Paracel and Spratly islands. Photo: AFP

When gun-toting Chinese guards spotted Tran Hien's unarmed wooden fishing boat in disputed waters, they seized his vessel, detained his crew and threw him in jail.

For generations the Vietnamese islanders of Ly Son have braved typhoons and other dangers to bring home fish, but now they also have to contend with patrols sent by Beijing to assert its territorial claims.

3 Nov 2012 - 4:07am

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