The Spratly Islands
consist of more than 100 small islands or reefs.
They are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and potentially by gas and
oil deposits. They are claimed in their entirety by China, Taiwan, and
Vietnam, while portions are claimed by Malaysia and the Philippines.
About 45 islands are occupied by relatively small numbers of military
forces from China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Brunei has established a fishing zone that overlaps a southern reef but
has not made any formal claim.