Other names: Zhōngzhōu jiāo (中洲礁),
Bãi Bàn Than
|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)|
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, 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.
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 Taiwan
- List of maritime features in the Spratly Islands
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- "Limits in the Seas No. 143 China: Maritime Claims in the South China Sea" (PDF). United States Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.
- 淨灘活動（中華民國行政院海巡署）, ROC Coast Guard Administration, 2010.
- "台"国安内政"高官南沙太平岛升旗宣示主权(图)_台海_环球网". taiwan.huanqiu.com (in Chinese). 环球网.
- Small photo of the reef, also showing a wooden platform.