The Pratas Islands or Dong-Sha Islands consists of three islands located in northeastern South China Sea, 340 km southeast of Hong Kong.
First called Moon Island, Pratas Islands was first acknowledged as Chinese territory during the Chin and Han dynasties. Further development was under taken during the Ming era. A Japanese businessman named Nishizawa Yoshizi occupied Pratas Island during World War II and remained under Japanese control until 1946.
It has historically been uninhabited, and nations like China and Japan claimed it to be their overseas territory. After World War II, the islands and the sea area around it were mandated by United Nations.
Today they are administered by the Republic of China (Taiwan), which calls it Dong-Sha Islands (Mandarin Pinyin: Dōngshā Qúndǎo; lit. East Sand Islands) and assigns the place the postal code 817. The People’s Republic of China claims the islands as part of its Guangdong Province.
Pratas is located 850km southwest of Taipei and 340km southeast of Hong Kong in the northern part of the South China Sea or the Pratas Terrace (20°43′N 116°42′E). The island is 2.8 km long and 0.865 km wide.
The island is made up of coral attolls and reef flats. Only Pratas Island is above sea level, Northern Vereker and Southern Vereker attolls are under water. Brush, vines and bushes cover some of Pratas and rest is white sand.