The Spratlys or Spratly Islands (also known as Kalayaan in the Philippines, Nansha in the People's Republic of China, and Truong Sa in Vietnam) have a total land area of around two square kilometers (200 hectares), but surrounding waters total to around 160,000 square kilometers (more than half the area of the Philippines which is 300,000 square kilometers). The dispute concerning this archipelago came quite recently, with at least five countries seeking to claim the Spratlys (PRC, Taiwan/ROC, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines), but there is a long history behind it.
One may ask: why is there so much competition in claiming these islands?
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