The Spratly Islands
The Spratlys are the main flashpoint in the South China Sea, where military fortifications belonging to all claimants except Brunei dot the area. China's rapid island creation in the Spratlys has alarmed some Asian countries and drawn criticism from the United States.
North Danger Reef
South China Sea
Note: Occupation does not signify undisputed sovereignty.
Six nations contest all or parts of the South China Sea, which has led to a series of confrontations between China and some of its neighbors over the potentially oil-and-gas rich area. A look at how each claim compares with the official exclusive economic zones (EEZ), the waters extending 200 nautical miles from the coast:
Oil and natural gas reserves
Oil and natural-gas estimates for the South China Sea compared to proven reserves in other areas.
Trillion cubic feet
Sources: U.S. State Department; UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea;
U.S. Energy Information Administration; Reuters
By Wen Foo, Simon Scarr and Matthew Weber | REUTERS GRAPHICS