Tabular listing of features showing country possessions

Tabular listing of features showing country possessions

Occupied features

A feature is occupied by a country if one of the following is true:

  • Soldiers and/or civilian citizens of a country are present in the feature, either by building structures over the feature to house the citizens (most features are of this type) or by manning a ship anchored over the feature (Philippine-occupied Irving Reef is of this type).
  • Regularly visited by soldiers of a country, not necessarily having soldiers present in it 24 hours. These features must lie near (within 9 miles (14 km)) a feature occupied by the country in the way of the first condition. Presence of structures is not necessary. This is the case of Philippine-occupied Flat Island and Lankiam Cay where soldiers stationed at Nanshan Island and Loaita Island respectively, regularly visit on a daily basis.

The effective visible distance of horizon from a 15 meter (typical large structure) height above sea-level is 9 miles (14 km). This makes features occupied by the second condition to be also labeled as “occupied” since they can be guarded far away. However not all features within the 9-mile (14 km) radius can be considered as absolutely occupied. This is especially true for features that lie between and within 9 miles (14 km) of two or more features occupied by different countries. (See Virtually Occupied or Controlled table)

Republic of China Republic of China (Taiwan)
Int’l Name Local Names Description Area (ha.)
Itu Aba Island[34][46] Republic of China 太平島 Taiping Dao The largest of the Spratly islands. Located about 22 miles (35 km) south-southwest of Philippine-occupied Loiata (Kota) Island and about 6 miles (10 km) west of Vietnam-occupied Sand Cay. Covered with shrubs, coconut and mangroves. 600 soldiers stationed, lighthouse, radio and weather stations, concrete landing jetty and two wells at the SW end. Guano deposits, fringing reef. Hainan fishermen used to visit annually. In 8/93, plans were announced for a 2 km-long airstrip[47] and a fishing port. The now only 1150-meters-long airstrip was completed in January 2008.[48] Pineapple was once cultivated here. Occupied since September 1956, four months after Filipino Tomas Cloma claimed the islands. Part of Tizard Banks. 46
PhilippinesLigaw[49]
Vietnam Đảo Ba Bình
Ban Than Reef[46] Republic of China 中洲礁 Jhongjhou Jiao Lies 3 miles (5 km) east of Itu-Aba Island and 3 miles (5 km) west of Vietnamese occupied Sand Cay. Small drying reef. Occupied since 1995. Part of Tizard Banks. 0
Vietnam Bãi Bàn Than
Total 1 island, 1 reef 46
People's Republic of China People’s Republic of China
Int’l Name Local Names Description Area (ha.)
Cuarteron Reef[34][46] People's Republic of China 华阳礁 Huayang Jiao Coral rocks only. Highest are 1.5 m high, on the north. Occupied since 1988. Part of London Reefs. 0
Philippines Calderon
Vietnam Bãi /Đá Châu Viên
Fiery Cross Reef/ Northwest Investigator Reef[34][46] People's Republic of China 永暑礁 Yongshu Jiao Rocks up to 1 m high. All below at high tide, but has guano deposits. PRC built a navy harbor by blasting, piling up and cementing coral, but says no soldiers stationed here. 8,080 square meters, 14 miles (23 km) long, with airstrip. “Marine observation station” built in 1988; coconut, fir, and banyan trees planted. Actually 3 reefs. Occupied since 1988. 0
Philippines Kagitingan
Vietnam Đá Chữ Thập
Gaven Reefs[34][46] People's Republic of China 南薰礁 Nanxun Jiao (Northern reef) / Xinan or Duolu Jiao (S. reef) A sand dune, 2 m high. Has fringing reef plus a reef 2 miles (3 km) to the south, both covered at high tide. Now all cement and a raised metal frame, with two-story buildings placed on top. Southern reef was occupied by PRC on 7/4/92. Occupied since 1988.Part of Tizard Banks. 0
Philippines Burgos
Vietnam Đá Ga Ven
Hughes Reef[34] People's Republic of China东门礁 Dongmen Jiao Lies 9 miles (14 km) to the east of Sin Cowe Island. Naturally above water at least at low tide. Occupied since 1988. Part of Union Banks. 0
Johnson South Reef[34][46] People's Republic of China 赤瓜礁 Chigua Jiao Contiguous with Vietnam-occupied Collins Reef which lies 4 miles (6 km) away northwest. Naturally above water only at low tide, but [9] says many rocks above water at high tide. Site of 1988 PRC/Vietnam clash. Occupied since 1988. Part of Union Banks. 0
Philippines Mabini
Vietnam Đá Gạc Ma
Mischief Reef[34][46] People's Republic of China 美济礁 Meiji Jiao Some rocks above water at low tide. Has a lagoon. In February 1995, PRC had built a wooden complex on stilts here, starting its formal occupation of the feature. In 1999, the Philippines protested over this structures claiming that it is a military outpost and it poses danger to Philippine security and national defense, being 130 miles (209 km) from Palawan. PRC claims it is a shelter for fishermen. 0
PhilippinesPanganiban[49]
Vietnam Đá Vành Khăn
Subi Reef[34][46] People's Republic of China 渚碧礁 Zhubi Dao Lies 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Philippine-occupied Thitu Island (Pagasa Island). Naturally above water only at low tide. Surrounds a lagoon. PRC has constructed 3-story buildings, wharfs, and a helipad here. 0
Philippines Zamora
Vietnam Đá Su Bi
First Thomas Reef People's Republic of China 信义礁 Xinyi Jiao A few rocks are permanently above sea level. Much of the reef is above water at low tide. Encloses a lagoon. 0
Philippines Bulig[49]
Vietnam Bãi Suối Ngà
Whitson Reef[46] People's Republic of China 牛轭礁 Niu’e Jiao Some rocks naturally above water at high tide. Part of Union Banks. 0
Vietnam Đá Ba Đầu
Total 9 reefs 0
Philippines Republic of the Philippines
Int’l Name Local Names Description Area (ha.)
Flat Island[34][46] PhilippinesPatag[49] The fourteenth largest Spratly island. About 6 miles (10 km) southwest of Philippine-occupied Lawak Island (Nanshan Island). It changes its shape seasonally. The sand build up will depend largely on the direction of prevailing wind and waves. It takes the shape of an elongated one for some years now and a shape like that of a crescent moon for few years ago and it formed the shape of a letter “S” in the past. Like Panata Island (Lankiam Cay), it is also barren of any vegetation. No underground water source is found in the island. Presently, this island serves only as a military observation post for the Municipality of Kalayaan. A low, flat, sandy cay, 240 by 90 m, subject to erosion. Has a nearby reef which is above water at high tide. With large guano deposits. No vegetation. Several soldiers stationed. 0.57
People's Republic of China 费信岛
Republic of China 費信島
Feixin Dao
Vietnam Đảo Bình Nguyên
LankiamCay[34][46] PhilippinesPanata[49] The fifteenth largest and the smallest Spratly island. Located 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Philippine-occupied Kota Island (Lankiam Cay). A few years ago this island has a surface area of more than 5 hectares but strong waves brought by a strong typhoon washed out the sandy surface (beach) of the island leaving behind today the calcarenite foundation that can be seen at low tide. Several soldiers stationed. Part of Loaita Banks. 0.44
People's Republic of China 杨信沙洲
Republic of China 楊信沙洲
Yangxin Shazhou
Vietnam Cồn San Hô Lan Can
Loaita Island[34][46] PhilippinesKota[49] The tenth largest Spratly island. Located 22 miles (35 km) southeast of Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island (Thitu Island) and 22 miles (35 km) north-northeast of the ROC-occupied Itu Aba Island. It fringes the Laoita bank and reef. Its calcarenite outcrop is visible along its western side at low tide. The present shape of the island indicates sand buildup along its eastern side. The anchor-shaped side will eventually connect with the northern portion as the sand buildup continues thereby creating another mini-lagoon in the process. The presence of migrating sea birds adds to the high phosphorus contents of the sand found in the island. Occasionally, giant sea turtles are reported to be laying their eggs in the island. Covered with mangrove bushes, above which rose coconut palms and other small trees. Several soldiers stationed. Occupied since 1968. Part of Loaita Banks. 6.45
People's Republic of China 南钥岛
Republic of China 南鑰島
Nanyue Dao
Vietnam Đảo Loại Ta
Nanshan Island[34][46] PhilippinesLawak[49] The eighth largest Spratly island. Located 98.0 miles (157.7 km) east of Pag-asa (Thitu Island). This island is a bird sanctuary. Its surroundings are highly phosphatized that superphosphate materials can be mined out on a small-scale basis. Near the fringes of the breakwaters (approx. 2 miles (3 km) from the island), intact hard coral reefs were observed to retain their natural environment and beautiful tropical fishes were seen colonizing these coral beds of varying colors. Covered with coconut trees, bushes and grass. 580 m long, on the edge of a submerged reef. Several soldiers stationed. Has a small airstrip. 7.93
People's Republic of China 马欢岛
Republic of China 馬歡島
Mahuan Dao
Vietnam Đảo Vĩnh Viễn
Northeast Cay[34][46] PhilippinesParola[49] The fifth largest Spratly island. Only 1.75 miles (2.82 km) north of Vietnamese-occupied Southwest Cay and can be seen before the horizon. Located 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Philippine-occupied Pag-asa (Thitu Island). Some of its outcrops are visible on its western side. It has high salinity groundwater and vegetation limited to beach type of plants. The corals around the island were mostly destroyed by rampant use of dynamite fishing and cyanide method employed by foreign fishing boats in the past. Covered with grass and thick trees. Much of the ringing reef is above water at high tide. Supported a beacon in 1984. Has Guano deposits. Several soldiers stationed. Satellite photography suggests it may have an airstrip.[50] Occupied since 1968. Part of North Danger Reef. 12.7
People's Republic of China 北子岛
Republic of China 北子島
Beizi Dao
Vietnam Đảo Song Tử Đông
Thitu Island[34][46] Philippines Pag-asa[49] The second largest Spratly island. Serves as the poblacion for the Municipality of Kalayaan, Palawan, Phils. It is covered with trees and has a variety of fauna. It is home to some 300+ civilians (including children) and over 50 soldiers. Other islands are expected to be populated before 2010. Population is regulated to protect the islands’ flora and fauna and to avoid tension with other countries. It has 1.4 kmairstrip, a marina, water filtering plant, power generator and a commercial communications tower (bySmart Communications). The Philippines’ Department of Tourism is making improvements to the island to make it profitable. Occupied since 1968. Part of Thitu Reefs. 37.2
People's Republic of China 中业岛
Republic of China 中業島
Zhongye Dao
Vietnam Đảo Thị Tứ
West York Island[34][46] PhilippinesLikas[49] The third largest Spratly island. This island is located 47 miles (76 km) northeast of Pag-asa (Thitu Island). Outcrops are visible on the southern and eastern portion of the island during low tides. This island is considered a sanctuary for giant sea turtles that lay their eggs on the island all year round. The high salinity of the ground water in the island retards the growth of introduced trees like coconuts, ipil-ipil, and other types. Only those endemic to the area that are mostly beach type of plants thrive and survive the hot and humid condition especially during the dry season. Has an observation post. Several soldiers stationed. 18.6
People's Republic of China 西月岛
Republic of China 西月島
Xiyue Dao
Vietnam Đảo Bến Lạc, Đảo Dừa
Commodore Reef[34][46] PhilippinesRizal[49] A sand “cay”, 0.5 m high, surrounded by two lagoons. Parts of reef above water at high tide. It is a typical reef lying underwater and is now being manned by a military contingent based and established in the area. Some structures. Several soldiers stationed. Occupied since 1978. 0
People's Republic of China 司令礁
Republic of China 司令礁
Siling Jiao
Vietnam Đá Công Đo
MalaysiaTerumbu Laksamana
Irving Reef[46] PhilippinesBalagtas Naturally above water only at low tide. A very small cay lies at northern end. Some structures. Several soldiers stationed. 0
People's Republic of China 火艾礁
Republic of China 火艾礁
Huo’ai Jiao
Vietnam Đảo Cá Nhám
Second Thomas Reef[51] PhilippinesAyungin[49] A shallow reef. It is close to Chinese-occupied Mischief Reef. It was occupied by the Philippines in 1999, after the 1995 controversial Chinese occupation of Mischief Reef, to put pressure on China not to occupy any features further which lie near the Philippines. 0
People's Republic of China 仁爱礁
Republic of China 仁愛礁
Ren’ai Jiao
Total 7 islands, 3 reefs 83.89
Vietnam Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Int’l Name Local Names Description Area (ha.)
Amboyna Cay[34][46] Philippines Datu Kalantiaw[49] The thirteenth largest Spratly island. Two parts: East part consists of sand and coral, west part is covered with guano. Has fringing reef. An obelisk, about 2.7 m high, stands on the SW corner. Little vegetation. Lighthouse operational since May 1995. Heavily fortified. 1.6
People's Republic of China 安波沙洲 Anbo Shazhou
Vietnam Đảo An Bang
Malaysia Pulau Amboyna Kecil
Namyit Island[34][46] PhilippinesBinago[49] The twelfth largest Spratly island. Covered with small trees, bushes and grass. Has a fringing reef and is inhabited by sea birds. The island is inhabited by an unknown number of Vietnamese soldiers and in the deep waters fronting the south side it is said that a submarine base is situated.[citation needed]Occupied since 1975.Part of Tizard Banks. 5.3
People's Republic of China 鸿庥岛 Hongxiu Dao
Vietnam Đảo Nam Yết
Sand Cay[34][46] Philippines Bailan The ninth largest Spratly island. Lies 6 miles (10 km) to the east of Taiwan-occupied Itu Aba Island. Covered with trees and bushes. Fringing reef partly above water at low tide. This feature is commonly confused with Sandy Cay. Occupied since 1974. Part of Tizard Banks. 7
People's Republic of China 敦谦沙洲 Dunqian Shazhou
Vietnam Đảo /Đá Sơn Ca
Sin Cowe Island[34][46] PhilippinesRurok[49] The seventh largest. Has fringing reef which is above water at low tide. Occupied since 1974. Part of Union Banks. 8
People's Republic of China 景宏岛 Jinghong Dao
Vietnam Đảo Sinh Tồn
Southwest Cay[34][46] Philippines Pugad The sixth largest Spratly island. Only 1.75 miles (2.82 km) from Northeast Cay and can be seen before the horizon. Previously a breeding place for birds and covered with trees and guano. Export of guano was once carried out “on a considerable scale.” Fringing reef partly above water at high tide. Vietnam erected its first lighthouse in the Spratlys here in October 1993 and built an airstrip. Has a three-story building, garrisoned by soldiers. Philippine military controlled the island before early 1970s. South Vietnamese forces (Republic of Vietnam) invaded the island in 1975, when Filipino soldiers guarding the island attended the birthday party of their commanding officer based in the nearby Northeast Cay. A confirmed report came out that Vietnamese prostitutes were sent by Vietnamese officials to the birthday party, supposedly a sign of good brotherhood between the forces, but was actually used to lure the Filipino soldiers guarding the island. Filipino forces apparently planned on attacking the island, thus it would have led to a war, but Vietnamese forces were able to erect a huge garrison in the island within few weeks, forcing Filipino officials to abort the plan. Since then, more soldiers were assigned to Parola Island (North East Cay), to avoid it from happening again. This was confirmed by interviews with soldiers involved in an episode of the defunct ABS-CBN‘s Magandang Gabi Bayan (Good Evening Nation) program. See Policies, activities and history of the Philippines in Spratly Islands#Southwest Cay invasion for more details. Part of North Danger Reef. 12
People's Republic of China 南子岛 Nanzi Dao
Vietnam Đảo Song Tử Tây
Spratly Island (proper)/ Storm Island[34][46] Philippines Lagos The fourth largest Spratly island. 2.5 m high, flat. Covered with bushes, grass, birds and guano. 5.5 m-high obelisk at southern tip. Has landing strip, and a fishing port. Fringing reef is above water at low tide. Some structures with soldiers stationed. Occupied since 1974. 13
People's Republic of China 南威岛 Nanwei Dao
Vietnam Đảo Trường Sa
Alison Reef[34][46] Philippines De Jesus[49] Naturally above water only at low tide. Encloses a lagoon. 0
People's Republic of China 六门礁 Liumen Jiao
Vietnam Bãi Tốc Tan
Barque Canada Reef/ Lizzie Weber Reef[34][46] Philippines (Barque Canada Reef)Magsaysay Coral. Highest rocks are 4.5 m high, at SW end. Much of reef is above water at high tide. Some sandy patches. 18 miles (29 km) long. Its military structures were recently upgraded. Occupied since 1987. 0
Philippines (Lizzie Weber Reef)Mascarado
People's Republic of China 柏礁 Bai Jiao
Vietnam Bãi Thuyền Chài
MalaysiaTerumbu Perahu
Central London Reef[34][46] Philippines Gitnang Quezon[49] SW part is a sandbank which barely submerges at high tide. The rest is coral reef, awash, surrounding a lagoon. Occupied since 1978. Part of London Reefs. 0
People's Republic of China 中礁 Zhong Jiao
Vietnam Đảo Trường Sa Đông
Collins Reef/ Johnson North Reef[46] Philippines Roxas Lies 8 miles (13 km) southwest of Vietnam-occupied Sin Cowe Island. Connected to Johnson South Reef. A “coral dune” is located at the southeast corner, above the high tide line. Part of Union Banks. 0
People's Republic of China 鬼喊礁 Guihan Jiao
Vietnam Đá Cô Lin
Cornwallis South Reef[34][46] PhilippinesOsmeña Naturally above water only at low tide. Encloses a lagoon. Occupied since 1988. 0
People's Republic of China 南华礁 Nanhua Jiao
Vietnam Đá Núi Le
Great Discovery Reef[34][46] PhilippinesParedes Several rocks are above water at high tide. Most of reef is above water at low tide. Has lagoon. Occupied since 1988. 0
People's Republic of China 大现礁 Daxian Dao
Vietnam Đá Lớn
East London Reef[34][46] PhilippinesSilangang Quezon[49] Rocks up to 1 m high. Encloses a lagoon. Occupied since 1988. Part of London Reefs. 0
People's Republic of China 东礁 Dong Jiao
Vietnam Đá Đông
Grierson Reef[46] Philippines Julian Felipe A sand cay with fringing reef. Some references tell that there exist a Sin Cowe East Island. This island may be Grierson Reef. It was probably called Sin Cowe East Island because it is located to the east of Sin Cowe Island and that its sand bar is visible during low tides, making it an island. Due to convention that an island must always be visible even at highest tides, Grierson Reef is not considered as an island in this list. Its sand bar area is about 12 hectares. Part of Union Banks. 0
People's Republic of China 染青沙洲 Ranqing Shazhou
Grainger Bank[46] People's Republic of China 李准滩 Lizhun Tan Shallowest natural depth is either 9 m or 11 m. Occupied since 1989. 0
Vietnam Bãi Quế Đường
Higgens Reef[34] People's Republic of China 屈原礁 Quyuan Jiao Lies 6 miles (10 km) southeast of Vietnam-occupied Sin Cowe Island. Only above water at low tide.Part of Union Banks. 0
Vietnam Đá Hi Ghen, Đá Hi Gen
Ladd Reef[34] People's Republic of China 日积礁 Riji Jiao Naturally above water at low tide. Has coral lagoon. Occupied since 1988. 0
Vietnam Đá Lát
Lan(d)sdowne Reef[34][46] PhilippinesPagkakaisa Sand dune, with fringing reef. Part of Union Banks. 0
People's Republic of China 琼礁 Qiong Jiao
Vietnam Đá Len Đao
Pearson Reef[34][46] PhilippinesHizon[49] Two sand “cays”, 2 m and 1 m high, lie on the edges of a lagoon. Parts of the surrounding reef are above water at high tide. Occupied since 1988. 0
People's Republic of China 毕生礁 Bisheng Jiao
Vietnam Đảo Phan Vinh
Petley Reef[34][46] Philippines Juan Luna Naturally above water only at low tide, some small rocks might stand above high water. Occupied since 1988. Part of Tizard Banks. 0
People's Republic of China 舶兰礁 Bolan Jiao
Vietnam Đá Núi Thị
Pigeon Reef/ Tennent Reef[34][46] Philippines Lopez-Jaena Numerous rocks are naturally above the high tide line. Encloses a lagoon. Occupied since 1988. 0
People's Republic of China 无乜礁 Wumie Jiao
Vietnam Đá Tiên Nữ
Prince Consort Bank[46] People's Republic of China 西卫滩 Xiwei Tan Shallowest natural depth is 9 m. Occupied since 1989. 0
Vietnam Bãi Phúc Nguyên
Rifleman Bank (containing Bombay Castle)[46] People's Republic of China 南薇滩 Nanwei Tan Shallowest natural depth is 3 m, called Bombay Castle. Sand and coral. Occupied since 1989. 0
Vietnam Bãi Vũng Mây
South Reef[34][46] Philippines Timog Lies about 2.5 miles (4 km) southwest of Vietnam-occupied Soutwest Cay. A tiny cay appears atop this reef on the most detailed map available. On the southwest end of North Danger Reef. Fringing reef is above water at low tide. Occupied since 1988. Part of North Danger Reef. 0
People's Republic of China 奈罗礁 Nailuo Jiao
Vietnam Đá Nam
Vanguard Bank[46] People's Republic of China 万安滩 Wan’an Tan Shallowest natural depth is 16 m. Vietnam has run two “economic technological service stations” in this area since July 1994. Occupied since 1989. 0
Vietnam Bãi Tư Chính
West London Reef[34][46] PhilippinesKanlurang Quezon[49] East part is sand “cay”, 0.6 m high. West part is coral reef which is above water only at low tide. Between them is a lagoon. Vietnam erected a lighthouse here in May or June 1994. Part of London Reefs. 0
People's Republic of China 西礁 Xi Jiao
Vietnam Đá Tây
Total 6 islands, 17 reefs, 3 banks 46.9
Malaysia Malaysia
Int’l Name Local Names Description Area (ha.)
SwallowReef/ Island[34][46] PhilippinesCelerio The eleventh largest Spratly island. Treeless cay and rocks up to 3 m high surround a lagoon. Malaysia has drawn territorial seas around this and Amboyna Cay. Some 70 plus soldiers stationed here maintain a beacon. Has a fishing port and a 15-room diving resort, including a 1.5 km airstrip. Present land mass is reclaimed, making it the first artificial island in Spratly. Occupied since 1983. 6.2
Vietnam Đá Hoa Lau
People's Republic of China 弹丸礁 Danwan Jiao
MalaysiaTerumbu Layang Layang
Ardasier Reef[34][46] PhilippinesAntonio Luna[49] Naturally above water only at low tide. Encloses a lagoon. Has a few sandy patches. Several soldiers stationed. Occupied since 1986. 0
People's Republic of China 安渡滩 Andu Tan
Vietnam Bãi Kiêu Ngựa
MalaysiaTerumbu Ubi
Dallas Reef[46] Philippines Rajah Matanda Naturally above water only at low tide. Encloses a lagoon. Several soldiers stationed. Malaysia is also using this reef for tourism. 0
People's Republic of China 光星礁 Guangxing Jiao
MalaysiaTerumbu Laya
Erica Reef/ Enloa Reef[52] PhilippinesGabriela Silang[49] Above water only at low tide. Some isolated rocks on the eastern edge stand above high water. 0
People's Republic of China簸箕礁 Boji Jiao
MalaysiaTerumbu Siput
Investigator Shoal[52] PhilippinesPawikan[49] Above water only at low tide. Some large rocks at the western end are visible at high water. Encloses a lagoon. 0
People's Republic of China榆亚暗沙 Yuya Ansha
Vietnam Bãi Thám Hiểm
MalaysiaTerumbu Peninjau
Louisa Reef[46] People's Republic of China 南通礁 Nantong Jiao Rocks 1 m high. Malaysia operates a lighthouse here. 0
MalaysiaTerumbu Semarang/ Barat Kecil
Mariveles Reef[34][46] PhilippinesMariveles A sand cay, 1.5–2 m high, surrounded by two lagoons, parts of which are above water at high tide. Several soldiers stationed. Occupied since 1986. 0
People's Republic of China 南海礁 Nanhai Jiao
Vietnam Bãi /Đá Kỳ Vân
MalaysiaTerumbu Mantanani
Total 1 artificial island, 5 reefs, 1 shoal 6.2

[edit]Virtually occupied or controlled

An unoccupied feature that lies within 9 miles (14 km) radius of an occupied feature, provided that it does not lie between the occupied feature and another occupied feature controlled by a different country and is not within 9 miles (14 km) of the feature occupied by the other country, can be considered as virtually occupied. 9 miles (14 km) is the effective horizon distance that can be seen from a 15 meter high structure. The nearer the feature, the better.

While virtually occupied features are not actual occupied features (e.g., no structures built and no soldiers are stationed or regularly visits), they are on the other hand largely controlled. If a naval vessel of another country was seen within the effective horizon of a feature and in an inconvenient direction, it can be taken as a military assault. Thus, the forces occupying the feature may attack the vessel. Claimant countries currently cannot upgrade the status of these virtually occupied features to absolutely occupied because other countries may view this as an expansion motive which clearly violates the Code of Conduct signed in 2002. Also, making the virtually occupied to absolutely occupied requires building of structures which will serve as barracks of new soldiers who will guard it. Building of structures in unoccupied (including virtually occupied) features is prohibited by the Code of Conduct.

Note that most virtually occupied features are by the Philippines. Vietnam in the past, prior to signing of the Code of Conduct, have acquired many features as much as it can. As of now, it has a total of 26 occupied features. Whenever it occupied a feature in the past, it immediately occupies features which are near to it. Example of this is South Reef which Vietnam immediately occupied after it successfully invaded Southwest Cay. Thus, no feature has been virtually controlled by Vietnam since it always occupy features which it can see within its horizon. Also, Vietnam’s occupied features in Tizard and Union Banks are near other countries’ occupied features. Hence, many unoccupied features near to Vietnam’s occupied features in these banks also lie near other countries’ occupied features. As for Malaysia, it only occupied reefs at the southern tip of the Spratly chain where features are dispersed. No other features can be found within the horizon of Malaysian-occupied features.

Virtually Occupied and Controlled
Philippines Virtually Occupied by the Philippines
Int’l Name Local Names Description Area (ha.)
Loaita Cay PhilippinesMelchora Aquino Lies 1.5 miles (2 km) south-northeast of Philippine-occupied Loaita Island. Actually, it is between two Philippine-occupied islands, the other being Lankiam Cay, but is nearer to Loita Island. A sand cay, with fringing reef naturally above water at high tide. This feature is commonly confused with Lankiam Cay. Not to be confused with Loaita Island. Part of Loiata Banks. ??
People's Republic of China 南钥沙洲 Nanyao Shazhou
Vietnam Bãi Loại Ta
Loaita Nan/ Loaita Southwest Reef PhilippinesMagbanua Lies 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Philippine-occupied Loaita Island. Nearest feature occupied by other country is Subi Reef, occupied by China, lies 30 miles (48 km) northwest. Never above water. Part of Loaita Banks. 0
People's Republic of China 双黄沙洲 Shuanghuang Shazhou
Vietnam Bãi Loại Ta Nam
North Reef Philippines Hilaga Lies 1.5 miles (2 km) northest of Philippine-occupied Northest Cay (Parola Island). Nearest feature occupied by other country is Southwest Cay, occupied by Vietnam, lies 3.5 miles (6 km) southwest. Because it is Northeast Cay which lies between Southwest Cay and North Reef, North Reef became virtually occupied by the Philippines. At NE end of North Danger Reef. Naturally above water only at low tide. The Philippines once considered building a long airstrip over this feature to ease transportation to Northeast Cay. Northeast Cay is only 12.7 hectares and it doesn’t have a large coral base. This is unlike Pagasa Island (Thitu Island) were a long airstrip had been constructed adjacent to the island by reclaiming portions of Pagasa’s large coral base. Hence, the Philippines cannot build a long airstrip in Northeast Cay, forcing them to consider building it in North Reef. However, though virtually occupied, they cannot build such airstrip in North Reef because the Code of Conduct prohibits it. Part of North Danger Reef. 0
People's Republic of China 贡士礁 Gongshi Jiao
Sandy Cay/ Extension Reef People's Republic of China 铁线礁 Tiexian Jiao Lies 5 miles (8 km) west of Philippine-occupied Thitu Island. Nearest feature occupied by other country is Subi Reef, occupied by China, lies 13 miles (21 km) southwest. A low sand cay; fringing reef above water at high tide. ??
People's Republic of China Virtually Occupied by China
Int’l Name Local Names Description Area (ha.)
Kennan Reef People's Republic of China 西门礁 Ximen Jiao (Kennan) Lies just 1 mile (2 km) west of PRC-occupied Hughes Reef. Nearest features occupied by other country is Vietnam-occupied Sin Cowe Island and Higgens Reef, both lies about 9 miles (14 km) west and southwest respectively. Because China is very near compared to Vietnam, Kennan Reef became virtually occupied by China. It actually causes many references to be confused on which feature between Hughes and Kennan is actually occupied by China. Naturally above water at least at low tide. 0
Vietnam Đá Ken Nan

[edit]Unoccupied features

Philippines Unoccupied but Largely Controlled by the Philippines
The reefs, shoals, etc. to the east of the 116°E meridian are closely guarded by the Philippine Navy and Air Force. Though not occupied, the Philippines undeniably has control over these features which are less 100 miles (160 km) from the Palawan west coast (note:Scarborough Shoal is 100 miles (160 km) from Zambales west coast). There are many Filipino fishermen in this region, who cooperate closely with the Philippine Navy. Non-Filipino fishermen are tolerated in this region, provided that they comply with Philippine laws. Thepress in the Philippines have reported many arrests of Chinese fishermen by the Philippine Navy because of illegal fishing methods and catching of endangered sea species, both in this region and in the Sulu Sea. Philippine military presence in this region intensified after the 1995 Mischief Reef incident. The Philippine Air Force has been active in striking even the markers set up by other countries to guide the latter’s naval forces in this region.
Int’l Name Local Names Description Area (ha.)
Amy Douglas Reef or Baker PhilippinesMahiwagang Diwata Lies north of Palawan Passage. Awash at low tide. 0
People's Republic of China 安塘滩 Antang Tan, 安塘礁 Antang Jiao
Bombay Shoal Philippines Abad Santos[49] Several rocks are exposed at low tide. Surrounds a lagoon. 0
People's Republic of China 蓬勃暗沙 Pengbo Ansha
Boxall Reef Philippines Rajah Sulayman Above water only at low tide. 0
People's Republic of China 牛车轮礁 Niuchelun Jiao
Carnadic Shoal People's Republic of China 红石暗沙 Hongshi Ansha 0
Director Shoal/Reef PhilippinesTamban 0
People's Republic of China 指向礁 Zhixiang Jiao
Ganges Reef Philippines Palma 0
People's Republic of China 恒礁 Heng Jiao
Glasgow Bank PhilippinesAguinaldo Some sources say[citation needed] this area is occupied by the Philippines due to its proximity to the Commodore Reef. 0
People's Republic of China 双礁 Shuang Jiao
Half Moon Shoal Philippines Hasa-hasa[49] Several rocks on the eastern side rise one to two feet above high tide. Encloses a lagoon. 0
People's Republic of China 半月礁 Banyue Jiao
Vietnam Bãi Trăng Khuyết
Hardy Reef Philippines Sakay Naturally above water only at low tide. Surrounds a narrow strip of sand. 0
People's Republic of China 半路礁 Banlu Jiao
Hopkins Reef People's Republic of China 火星礁 Huoxing Jiao 0
Investigator Northeast Shoal PhilippinesDalagang Bukid Lies only a few miles west of Palawan. Naturally above water at low tide. 0
People's Republic of China 海口礁 Haikou Jiao
Iroquois Reef Philippines Del Pilar Lies east of both Philippine-occupied Nanshan Island and Flat Island. Above water only at low tide. 0
People's Republic of China 鲎藤礁 Houteng Jiao
Leslie Bank Philippines Urduja 0
People's Republic of China 勇士滩 Yongshi Tan
Lord Auckland Shoal Philippines Lapu-Lapu 0
People's Republic of China 莪兰暗沙 Elan Ansha
Lys Shoal Philippines Bisugo 0
People's Republic of China 乐斯暗沙 Lesi Ansha
NE Shea Philippines Ponce Lies only a few miles north of Commodore Reef. Above water only at low tide. 0
Pennsylvania North Reef People's Republic of China 阳明礁 Yangming Jiao 0
Pennsylvania South Reef People's Republic of China 孔明礁 Kongming Jiao 0
Reed Tablemount (including Nares Bank and Marie LouiseBank) PhilippinesRecto[49] Shallowest natural depth is 9 m. About 2,500 square miles (6,500 km2) in area. The Philippines occupied this feature in 1971 and a Philippine-Sweden joint oil-exploration followed afterwards.[46]However, China protested this act of the Philippines saying that this tablemount which center lies 100 miles (160 km) from the Philippines is part of China’s territories. After that, the Philippines tried asking China for a joint effort but China declined arguing that the Philippines has no right in this feature. Presently, this feature is largely controlled by the Philippines. 0
People's Republic of China 礼乐滩 Liyue Tan
Vietnam Bãi Cỏ Rồng
Royal Captain Shoal PhilippinesKanduli[49] A few rocks are above water at low tide. Surrounds a lagoon. 0
People's Republic of China 舰长礁 Jianzhang Jiao
Sabina Shoal Philippines Escoda It encloses two lagoons, naturally above water at low tide. Lies east of the Philippine-occupied Second Thomas Reef. 0
People's Republic of China 仙宾礁 Xianbin Jiao
Sandy Shoal PhilippinesMabuhangin 0
People's Republic of China 神仙暗沙 Shenxian Ansha
Seahorse Shoal or Seashore Shoal PhilippinesBaybayin Dagat Lies north of Palawan Passage 0
People's Republic of China 海马滩 Haima Tan
Stag Shoal Philippines Panday Pira 0
People's Republic of China 隐遁暗沙 Yindun Ansha
Southern Bank/Reef PhilippinesKatimugan A group of features located south of Reed Tablemount. The reef includes: Magat Salamat, Tagpi, Hubo Reef, and Katimugan Banks/Reef. The area is largely controlled and used for fishing by the Philippines due to its proximity to Flat Island and Nanshan Island. 0
People's Republic of China 南方浅滩 Nanfang Qiantan
Templar Bank PhilippinesDalag[49] 0
People's Republic of China 忠孝滩 Zhongxiao Tan
Trident Shoal PhilippinesTatlong-tulis 0
People's Republic of China 永登暗沙 Yongdeng Ansha
Viper North Shoal Philippines Maya-maya 0
People's Republic of China 都护暗沙 Duhu Ansha
Viper Shoal Philippines Tomas Claudio 0
People's Republic of China 保卫暗沙 Baowei Ansha,
Not Occupied by any Country
These are the unoccupied features. Some sources say that some of these features are occupied by Vietnam or China but most sources, including the latest, say that they are not occupied. Occupation are probably confused because the said reefs are very close to occupied features. There are many unoccupied features in the Spratly chain. The current Code of Conduct prohibits any country from acquiring new features. Many of these features are actually in between and near two or more occupied features of different countries. Thus, they serve like buffer zones. Example of this is Jones Reef which lies almost exactly between PRC-occupied Hughes Reef and Vietnamese-occupied Higgens Reef.
Int’l Name Local Names Description Area (ha.)
Alicia Annie Reef Philippines Arellano[49] A sand “cay”, 1.2 m high. Many rocks above high tide line. 0
People's Republic of China 仙娥礁 Xian’e Jiao
Vietnam Đá Suối Ngọc
Coronation Bank 0
Discovery Small Reef Philippines Gomez Above water only at low tide. 0
People's Republic of China 小现礁 Xiaoxian Jiao
Vietnam Đá Nhỏ
Duvalle Shoal 0
Edmund Reef People's Republic of China 南门礁 Nanmen Jiao Lies 4 miles (6 km) east of Vietnam-occupied Sin Cowe Island and 4 miles (6 km) west of Kennan Reef. Part of Union Banks. 0
Eldad Reef Philippines Malvar Only a few large rocks are naturally above water at high tide. Part of Tizard Banks. 0
People's Republic of China 安达礁 Anda Jiao
Malaysia Beting Burgai
Hallet Reef People's Republic of China 安乐礁 Anle Jiao Lies 1 mile (2 km) to the northeast of Hughes Reef. Part of Union Banks. 0
Holiday Reef People's Republic of China 长线礁 Changxian Jiao Above water only at low tide. Part of Union Banks. 0
Hopps Reef Philippines Diego Silang Above water only at low tide. Part of Southampton Reefs. 0
People's Republic of China 禄沙礁 Lusha Jiao
Vietnam Đá Hop
Jackson Atoll Philippines Quirino Four or five portions are above water at low tide. Encloses a lagoon. 0
People's Republic of China 五方礁 Wufang Jiao
Jones Reef People's Republic of China 漳溪礁 Zhangxi Jiao Lies 5 miles (8 km) south of Kennan Reef. Small reef, partly above water only at low tide.Part of Union Banks. 0
Len Dao Reef Visible in some maps. Part of Union Reefs. 0
Livock Reef Philippines (NE part) Jacinto Above water only at low tide. Some rocks still visible at high tide. Part of Southampton Reefs. 0
Philippines (SW part) Bonifacio
People's Republic of China 三角礁 Sanjiao Jiao
Menzies Reef Philippines Rajah Lakandula[49] Awash at low tide. Part of Loaita Bank. 0
People's Republic of China 蒙自礁 Mengzi Jiao
Vietnam Đá Men Di
Owen Shoal People's Republic of China 奥援暗沙 Aoyuan Ansha Shallowest natural depth is 6 m. 0
Prince of Wales Bank People's Republic of China 广雅滩 Guangya Tan Shallowest natural depth is 7 m. Has corals. 0
Vietnam Bãi Phúc Tần
Thitu Reef People's Republic of China 铁峙礁 Tiezhi Jiao Above water only at low tide. Located northeast of Thitu Island and unnamed on most maps. Part of Thitu Reefs 0

Claimed features by country but occupied by other country

Claimed features by country but occupied by other country
Only the PRC, the ROC and Vietnam claim all of the Spratly Island Chain, including some features that are just 50 km from other countries like the Philippines and Malaysia. However, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei all have partial claims only. Here are the islands claimed but are not occupied by these three countries (flags refer to the country currently occupying the feature):
Philippines: Itu Aba Island Republic of China, Amboyna Cay Vietnam, Namyit Island Vietnam, Sand Cay Vietnam, Sin Cowe Island Vietnam, Sin Cowe East Island Vietnam, Southwest Cay Vietnam, Spratly Island Proper Vietnam, Pigeon Reef Vietnam, South Reef Vietnam, Ardasier Reef Malaysia, Erica Reef Malaysia, Investigator Shoal Malaysia, Mariveles Reef Malaysia, Swallow Reef/Island Malaysia, Mischief Reef People's Republic of China, Subi Reef People's Republic of China and all of features to the east of the 116°E meridian (unoccupied) (see Unoccupied but Largely Controlled by the Philippines subtable).
Malaysia: Amboyna Cay Vietnam, Barque Canada Reef Vietnam, Commodore Reef Philippines and Royal Charlotte Reef (unoccupied)
Brunei: Rifleman Bank Vietnam, Louisa Reef Malaysia and Owen Shoal (uncertain)
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