Other names: Zhōngzhōu jiāo (中洲礁),
Bãi Bàn Than
|International Space Station photograph of Taiping Island (left) and Zhongzhou Reef (right)|
|Location||South China Sea|
|Length||100 metres (330 ft)|
|Width||100 metres (330 ft)|
|Republic of China (Taiwan)|
|People's Republic of China|
|Republic of China (Taiwan)|
|Part of a series on the|
Spratly Islands military occupations map
Zhongzhou Reef (Chinese: 中洲礁; pinyin: Zhōngzhōu jiāo; Vietnamese: Bãi Bàn Than) is a small coral reef within the Tizard Bank of the Spratly Islands. It lies 5 km (3 mi) east of ROC-occupied Taiping Island (Itu Aba), 5 km (3 mi) west of Vietnamese-occupied Sand Cay, and has an exposed area of approximately 0.2 hectares (0.49 acres) during high tide, and 0.6 hectares (1.5 acres) during low tide.[dubious ] It consists of an accumulation of seashells, sand, coral reefs and debris which forms a circular coral reef plate, surrounding the reef under the water, with a diameter of approximately 1.3 km (0.8 mi).
As many as 51 species of migratory birds inhabit the reef for short stays. The surrounding waters contain a rich marine ecosystem with plentiful staghorn coral. Shellfish species such as Harpago chiragra and Cassis cornuta can be found on the reef, and the surrounding waters contain various common tropical fish and coral reef fish. The reef geology is not suitable for plant growth.
The reef has no groundwater source. Though currently uninhabited by humans, the ROC Coast Guard sends regular patrols via M8 speedboats from nearby Taiping Island. These patrols circle the reef, in addition to landing, making inspections and carrying out ecological surveys.
The reef was first claimed by Nationalist China in 1935, and this claim was reiterated in a map published in 1947.
Scientists from Taiwan conducted ecological research on green turtles living on the reef from 2002 to 2003.
On 16 August 2003, the Taiwanese Minister of the Interior Yu Cheng-hsien visited the reef, travelling via M8 speedboat, and planted a ROC flag in a declaration of sovereignty. On 28 March 2004, the ROC Coast Guard Administration completed the construction of wooden observation kiosks on the reef.
In September 2010, the ROC Environmental Protection Agency conducted environmental quality sampling intending on monitoring reef marine water quality.
On 22 March 2012, a routine patrol of the ROC Coast Guard came into contact with Vietnamese patrol boats near the reef; following the incident, ROC legislators Lin Yu-fang, Chen Zhenxiang and Chen Zhankai visited the reef by M8 speedboats.
- Pratas Islands
- Taiping Island
- List of islands of the Republic of China
- List of maritime features in the Spratly Islands
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2014)|
- Small photo of the reef, also showing a wooden platform.
- "Glossary of Names for Admin Divisions" (PDF). placesearch.moi.gov.tw. Ministry of Interior of the ROC. Retrieved 12 June 2015.