1 The name Spratly Islands (‘Spratlys’), referring to an erratic cluster of various features located in the South China Sea, is based upon accidental historic tradition, not upon compelling geographical reasons: Spratly Island proper, lending the whole agglomeration its name, lies in the extreme south-westernmost corner of the entire group and measures only 13 hectares (‘ha’), making it merely the fourth-largest formation among the Spratlys. It is exceeded in size by Itu Aba 46 ha; Thitu 37.2 ha and West York 18.6 ha. There are only 12 fully-fledged islands in...
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