READ:Analysts: Draft a sign of progress on South China Sea code of conduct Meanwhile, China had done "smaller scale" construction at its bases in the Paracel islands
, believed to hold major oil and gas reserves, are claimed in whole or in part by Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, the AMTI said.
The Paracel Islands
are contested by China, Taiwan and Vietnam while the Spratly Islands are also additionally claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.
Beijing continues to reclaim land farther north, in the Paracel Islands
The USS Stethem, a guided-missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, part of the Paracel Islands
in the South China Sea,a US defense department official said.
Triton Island is a part of the Paracel Islands
cluster that has been at the center of disputes in South China Sea, as these islands are claimed by China, as well as neighboring countries like Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.
The USS Stethem sailed close to Triton Island, part of the Paracel Islands
archipelago, claimed by China and others.
In 2014, location of the oil rig was at the center of standoff between the countries when China parked it near the Paracel islands
that Vietnam claims as its exclusive economic zone, resulting in riots in Vietnam.
12) The following day, the Chinese foreign ministry reiterated Chinas indisputable sovereignty over the Paracel Islands
, the Spratly ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) Islands, and Macclesfield ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) Bank.
The island, a part of the Paracel Islands
chain in the South China Sea, is also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.
Other nations in the region have competing claims for the Spratly Islands, along with the Paracel Islands
and Scarborough Shoal, which are thought to have rich resources in their waters.
Typhoon Kujira will sweep over the Paracel Islands
in the South China Sea before hitting land somewhere between Wanning on Hainan and Zhanjiang in neighbouring Guangdong province, bringing strong wind and heavy rain, Xinhua news agency said.
The report said other images suggested China was working to extend another airstrip to that length in the Paracel Islands
further north in the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, a vital shipping route through which $5 trillion of trade passes every year.