• Contested territories
  • Claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan
  • Population +1000
  • Area 15,000 km² ocean 7,75 km² land

The Paracel Islands, also known as Xisha Islands (Chinese) or Hoang Sa Archipelago (Vietnamese), are an archipelago of about 130 small islands and reefs in the South China Sea. The islands are under the control of China, but are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. The French colonial government tried to incorporate the archipelago into French Indochina, but the Chinese took control over the islands after the ‘Battle of the Paracel Islands’ in 1974. It is home to the largest blue sinking hole in the world: the Dragon Hole.