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Disputed Areas of the World

Abu Musa : Iran & UAE
Aksai Chin : India & China
Vozrozhdeniya Island : Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan
Senkakku : Japan & China
Spratly Islands : China , Malaysia , Philippines and Vietnam
Bassas da India : France & Madagaskar
Bakassi : Nigeria & Cameroon
Chagos Archipelago
Hala'ib Triangle : Sudan & Egypt
Kuril Islands : Russia & Japan
Paracel Islands: China, Taiwan & Vietnam
Preah Vihear Temple : Thailand & Cambodia
Sabah : Malaysia, Indonesia & Phillipines
Shatt al-Arab : Iran & Irak



Abu Musa : Iran & UAE
Abu Musa is a 12-km² island in the eastern Persian Gulf, part of a six-island archipelago near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. The island is administered by Iran as part of the Iranian province of Hormozgan, but is also claimed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Aksai Chin : India & China
Aksai Chin, is a disputed region located in the northwestern region of the Tibetan Plateau just below the western Kunlun Mountains. It is administered by China , however, claimed by India as a part of its state of Jammu and Kashmir. The region contains the lake Aksayqin Hu and the river Aksayqin He. Aksai Chin is one of the two main border disputes between China and India, the other being the dispute over Arunachal Pradesh, which is administered by India and claimed by China as South Tibet. India claims Aksai Chin as the eastern-most part of the Jammu and Kashmir state. The line that separates Indian-administered areas of Kashmir from the Aksayqin is known as the Line of Actual Control . Aksai Chin is a vast high-altitude desert of salt that reaches heights up to 5,000 metres. It covers an area of 42,685 square kilometres of the disputed territory. Geographically part of the Tibetan Plateau, Aksai Chin is referred to as the Soda Plain. The region is almost uninhabited, has no permanent settlements, and receives little precipitation as the Himalayan and other mountains block the rains from the Indian monsoon.

Vozrozhdeniya Island : Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan
Vozrozhdeniya Island, is a former island, now a peninsula, in the Aral Sea. It became a peninsula in 2002, due to ongoing shrinkage of the Aral Sea.It is now shared by Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Located in the central Aral Sea, Vozrozhdeniya Island was one of the main laboratories and testing sites for the Soviet Union government’s Microbiological Warfare Group. In 1948, a top-secret Soviet bioweapons laboratory was established here. Word of the island's danger was further spread by Soviet defectors, including Ken Alibek, the former head of the Soviet Union's bioweapons program. It was here, according to just released documents, that anthrax spores and bubonic plague bacilli were made into weapons and stored. The main town on the island was Kantubek, which lies in ruins today, but once had approximately 1,500 inhabitants.

Senkakku : Japan & China
The Senkaku Islands also known as Diaoyutai Islands or the Pinnacle Islands, are a group of disputed, uninhabited islands currently controlled by Japan, but also claimed by the Republic of China (as part of Toucheng Township in Yilan County, Taiwan) and the People's Republic of China. The islands are located northeast of Taiwan, due west of Okinawa, and due north of the end of the Ryukyu Islands in the East China Sea. Their status has emerged as a major issue in foreign relations between the People's Republic of China and Japan and between Japan and the Republic of China. Japanese government regards these islands as a part of Okinawa prefecture. While the complexity of the PRC-ROC relation has affected efforts to demonstrate Chinese sovereignty over the islands, both governments agree that the islands are part of Taiwan province.

Spratly Islands : China , Malaysia , Philippines and VietnamThe Spratly Islands are a group of more than 650 reefs, islets, atolls, cays and islands in the South China Sea between the Philippines and Vietnam. They comprise less than five square kilometers of land area, spread over more than 400,000 square kilometers of sea. The Spratlys, as they are called, are part of the three archipelagos of the South China Sea, comprising more than 30,000 islands and reefs and which so complicates geography, governance and economics in that region of Southeast Asia. Such small and remote islands have little economic value in themselves, but are important in establishing international boundaries. There are no native islanders but there are rich fishing grounds and initial surveys indicate the islands may contain significant oil and gas. About 45 islands are occupied by relatively small numbers of military forces from People's Republic of China, Republic of China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Brunei has established a fishing zone that overlaps a southern reef but has not made any formal claim.

Bassas da India : France & Madagaskar
Bassas da India is an uninhabited, roughly circular atoll about 10 km in diameter, which corresponds to a total size (including lagoon) of 80 km². It is located in the southern Mozambique Channel, about half-way between Madagascar (which is 385 km to the east) and Mozambique, and 110 km northwest of Europa Island. It rises steeply from the seabed 3000 m below. The reef rim averages around 100 m across and completely encloses a shallow lagoon that has a maximum depth of 15 m. Its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 123,700 km² is contiguous with that of Europa Island.

Bakassi : Nigeria & Cameroon
Bakassi is the peninsular extension of the African territory of Calabar into the Atlantic Ocean. It is currently ruled by Cameroon following the transfer of sovereignty from neighbouring Nigeria as a result of a judgment by the International Court of Justice. On 22 November 2007, the Nigerian Senate rejected the transfer, since the Green Tree Agreement ceding the area to Cameroon was contrary to Section 12(1) of the 1999 Constitution. Regardless, the territory was formally transferred to Cameroon on August 14, 2008.

Chagos Archipelago : UK , Mauritius & Seychelles
The Chagos Archipelago is a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands roughly in the centre of the Indian Ocean. The Chagos lies about 500 km (300 miles) due south of the Maldives, its nearest neighbour, 1600 km (1000 miles) southwest of India, half way between Tanzania and Java. The Chagos group is a combination of different coralline structures topping a submarine ridge running southwards across the centre of the Indian Ocean, formed by volcanoes above the Réunion hotspot. Unlike in the Maldives there is not a clearly discernible pattern of arrayed atolls, which makes the whole archipelago look somewhat chaotic. Most of the coralline structures of the Chagos are submerged reefs. Officially part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Chagos were home to the Chagossians for more than a century and a half until the United Kingdom and the United States expelled them in the 1960s in order to allow the US to build a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos Islands. The deal was sanctioned by the then British Secretary of State for Defence, Denis Healey.

Hala'ib Triangle : Sudan & Egypt
The Hala'ib Triangle is an area of land measuring 20,580 km² located on the Red Sea's African coast, between the political borders of Egypt (at the 22nd circle of latitude - as per the 1899 treaty) and the administrative boundary (as per the 1902 treaty) . The major town in this area is Hala'ib. The only other populated place is Abu Ramad, 30 km northwest of Hala'ib town on the Red Sea coast. Alshalateen is an Egyptian town just on the northern administrative boundary. The closest Sudanese town south of the disputed area is Osief (Marsa Osief), located 26 km south of the 22nd circle of latitude, the political borders line claimed by Egypt.

Kuril Islands : Russia & Japan
Matua Island as seen from Raikoke.The Kuril Islands or Kurile Islands in Russia's Sakhalin Oblast region, is a volcanic archipelago that stretches approximately 1,300 km (700 miles) northeast from Hokkaido, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean. There are 56 islands in total and many more minor rocks. All of the islands are under Russian jurisdiction, although the southernmost four are claimed by Japan as part of their territory.

Paracel Islands: China, Taiwan & Vietnam
The Paracel Islands consist of over 30 islets, sandbanks or reefs, occupy about 15,000 km2 of the ocean surface, and located in the South China Sea, also known as East Vietnam Sea or East Sea. Turtles live on the islands, and seabirds have left nests and guano deposits, but there are no permanent human residents except for a small number of troops. The archipelago is approximately equidistant from the coastlines of Vietnam and China, and about one-third of the way from central Vietnam to the northern Philippines. The islands comprise of two main groups. The Amphitrite group is in the northeast and the Crescent group is in the west, and about 70 km from one another. Subject to hot and humid climate, with abundant rainfall and frequent typhoons, the archipelago is surrounded by productive fishing grounds and potential oil and gas reserves. Notably, up until the early 18th century, the present-day Spratly Islands were still delineated as part of the Paracel archipelago, and that the sovereignty over the islands has been inflaming the century-old dispute.
Preah Vihear Temple : Thailand & Cambodia
The Preah Vihear Temple or Prasat Preah Vihear is a Khmer temple situated atop a 525-metre (1,720 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province of northern Cambodia and near the border of the Kantharalak district (amphoe) in the Sisaket province of northeastern Thailand. In 1962, following a significant dispute between Thailand and Cambodia over ownership of the temple, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague awarded the ownership to Cambodia.

Sabah : Malaysia, Indonesia & Phillipines
Sabah is a Malaysian state located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo . It is the second largest state in Malaysia after Sarawak, which it borders on its south-west. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south. In spite of its status as a Malaysian state, Sabah remains a disputed territory; the Philippines has a dormant claim over much of the eastern part of the territory. The capital of Sabah is Kota Kinabalu, formerly known as Jesselton. Sabah is known as "Sabah, negeri di bawah bayu", which means "Sabah, the land below the winds", because of its location just south of the typhoon-prone region around the Philippines.

Shatt al-Arab : Iran & IrakThe Shatt al-Arab is a river in Southwest Asia of some 200 kilometres in length, formed by the confluence of the Euphrates and the Tigris in the town of al-Qurnah in the Basra Governorate of southern Iraq. The southern end of the river constitutes the border between Iraq and Iran down to the mouth of the river as it discharges into the Persian Gulf. It varies in width from about 232 metres at Basra to 800 metres (2,600 ft) at its mouth. It is thought that the waterway formed relatively recently in geologic time, with the Tigris and Euphrates originally emptying into the Persian Gulf via a channel further to the west. The Karun river, a tributary which joins the waterway from the Iranian side, deposits large amounts of silt into the river; this necessitates continuous dredging to keep it navigable. The area is judged to hold the largest date palm forest in the world. In the mid-1970s, the region included 17 to 18 million date palms, an estimated one-fifth of the world's 90 million palm trees. But by 2002, war, salt, and pests had wiped out more than 14 million of the palms, including around 9 million in Iraq and 5 million in Iran. Many of the remaining 3 to 4 million trees are in poor condition.
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