(From the CIA's World Fact Book) The Spratly Islands consist of more than 100 small islands or reefs. They are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and potentially by gas and oil deposits. They are claimed in their entirety by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, while portions are claimed by Malaysia and the Philippines. About 50 islands are occupied by China (about 450 soldiers), Malaysia (70-90), the Philippines (about 100), and Vietnam (about 1,500). Brunei is a claimant but has no outposts.