Christmas Island (1995 est. pop. 890), 60 sq mi (155 sq km), in the Indian Ocean, c.200 mi (320 km) S of Java. The majority of the inhabitants are Chinese and Malays who work the extensive phosphate deposits. The island was annexed by Great Britain in 1888 and became part of the former Straits Settlements in 1889. In 1958 it was ceded to Australia.
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|