Triton Island

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Triton Island
Disputed island
Other names: Chinese: 中建岛; pinyin: Zhōngjiàn Dǎo; Vietnamese: đảo Tri Tôn
Location of Triton Island within the Paracel Islands
Triton Island is located in South China Sea
Triton Island
Location South China Sea
Coordinates 15°47′N 111°12′E / 15.783°N 111.200°E / 15.783; 111.200Coordinates: 15°47′N 111°12′E / 15.783°N 111.200°E / 15.783; 111.200
Archipelago Paracel Islands
Area 1.2 km2 (0.46 sq mi)
Length 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi)
Administered by
People's Republic of China
Claimed by
Republic of China (Taiwan)
Population 0

Triton Island (Chinese: 中建岛; pinyin: Zhōngjiàn Dǎo; Vietnamese: đảo Tri Tôn) is one of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. It is 1.2 km2 (0.46 sq mi) in size. It is also historically known as Bànlù Zhì (Chinese: 半路峙; literally: "halfway tower") or Luó Dǎo (Chinese: 螺岛; literally: "trochus niloticus island") to Chinese fishermen. The current Chinese name of the island is named after the Republic of China Navy warship ROCS Chung-chien (中建號) sent in 1946 to claim the Paracel Islands.[1] The island is administrated by the People's Republic of China[citation needed] but is also claimed by the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Vietnam.


Lacking a native population, ownership of the Paracel Islands has been disputed since the early 20th century. In the aftermath of the First Indochina War until 1974 Vietnam occupied Pattle Island, approximately 50 nautical miles (93 km) away. Control has been enforced by the People's Republic of China since the Battle of the Paracel Islands.

In 1973 the cargo ship USNS Sgt. Jack J. Pendleton was abandoned on the reef of Triton Island, having run aground there en route from Vietnam to the Philippines.

On January 30, 2016, the United States warship USS Curtis Wilbur passed within 12 nautical miles of the island. The Pentagon stated that they had notified none of the three claimants to the island beforehand, and claimed the reason for the transit was to protect freedom of navigation, "consistent with international law". The People's Republic of China called the voyage "provocative" and that it "violated relevant Chinese laws by entering Chinese territorial waters without prior permission".[2] Three months previously, in October 2015, the USS Lassen sailed within 12 nautical miles of the manmade island at Subi Reef.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 吕一燃 (Lu Yiran), 2007. 中国近代边界史 (A modern history of China's borders), Vol. 2. 四川人民出版社 (Sichuan People's Publishing), pp.1092-1093. ISBN 7220073313
  2. ^ Stewart, Phil; Taplin, Nathaniel (30 January 2016). "U.S. warship sails near island claimed by China in South China Sea". Reuters. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  3. ^ Blanchard, Ben; Shalal, Andrea (Oct 28, 2015). "Angry China shadows U.S. warship near man-made islands". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-01-31.