China is spreading alarm by claiming the Spratly Islands for itself. named after a ninteenth-century British whaling captain and claimed in whole or in part by China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, the Spratlys, which consist of hundreds of barren shoals and sandbanks are spread over 181,300 sq meters far out in the South China Sea. Many of them are under water at high tide and even the largest of them are inhabited only by a small number of military personnel. The Spratlys are a valuable strategic prize not only because of their potential oil and gas deposits, but because they lie along major shipping lanes and fishing grounds.
1791 Captain Spratle arived in the group and named the islands by his name. He was one of Captain Collets navigators.
Mischief Reef was discovered by Henry Spratly in 1791 and named by the German Sailor Heribert Mischief, one of his crew.
Itu Aba Island, a Taiwan claimbed Spratly Island one of the Tizard Bank Islands
Itu Aba is sayed to be known and settled by fishermen since the mid of the 8th century. The geographer Lyn Chang Lo of the Ming Daynasty is sayed to be the first mapper of the island in the 9th century. The first European who visited seams to be Antonio de Manchene in the mid of the 16th century. Shure is the discovery by the British Henry Spratley in 1767 who named the complete reef area by his ship's name 'Tizard', a name known till today.
[Or is it http://www.hawaii.edu/cseas/pubs/explore/y3/todd.html ?]
29 Chang,Territorial Dispute, 16. In 1843, a British whaling ship, the Cyrus, "discovered" Truong Sa Island. The Admiralty in London named it "Spratly Island" after the captain of the Cyrus (see Hydrographic Office, The Admiralty,The China See Directory, Vol. ii, [London: J.D. Potter, 1889], 83).