The Xisha Islands (Paracel in English), consist of a group of about 30 islands, reefs, banks and cays in the South China Sea, with a maritime area of approximately 15,000 square kilometres. It is located about 180 nautical miles southeast of Hainan Island and about 260 nautical miles from the coast of Vietnam.
There are two main island groups: the Amphitrite Group in the northeast and the Crescent Group in the southwest. In July 2012, China established Sansha city, with its government seat on Yongxing Island (Woody Island), to administer the Xisha (Paracel), Dongsha (Pratas) and Nansha (Spratly) Islands and their surrounding waters in the South China Sea.
Yongxing (Woody Island), situated in the Amphitrite Group, is one of the largest islands and it has a sizeable population, buildings, a hospital, hostels, a post office, cafes, stores, a harbour and an airport.
Read more: http://www.eurasiareview.com/30082014-xisha-paracel-islands-inconvenient-truth-analysis/