: The region around the Paracel Islands and the South China Sea is important to the economies of the surrounding states in terms of the fish resources and potential for energy reserves, which result in diplomatic and physical clashes. The large flow of maritime commerce around the Paracel Islands is also crucial to the economic well-being of the region and the world, and occupation of the islands dictates control of the surrounding sea's maritime traffic, security, and economic exploitation. This work provides a detailed historical view of the Parcel Islands. Although China currently occupies all of the Paracels, they are also vigorously claimed by Vietnam. To better understand the positions of the parties involved, this monograph delves into the customary international law claims for sovereignty through historic and occupation doctrines, and the subsequent maritime jurisdiction claims made through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. U.S. interests and resulting involvement are also explained to assist in understanding these positions better and to inform U.S. policymakers of actions the United States may take to promote peace and economic development in an important region. Ultimately, the United States cannot solve the conflict in the South China Sea alone, but it can contribute to, facilitate, balance, and support international efforts to craft a solution from which all may benefit in the long term.