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The Diaoyutai Islands are under the administrative jurisdiction of Daxi Village(大溪里)in Toucheng Township(頭城鎮), Yilan County(宜蘭縣). Located to the northeast of Taiwan about 102 nautical miles north of Keelung, the group consists of five islands—Diaoyutai Island(釣魚臺), Huangwei Islet(黃尾嶼), Chiwei Islet(赤尾嶼), Nan Islet(南小島), and Bei Islet(北小島)—and three rocky reefs. The islands cover a total area of 6.5 square kilometers, the largest being Diaoyutai Island at 4.5 square kilometers. 

The Diaoyutai Islands lie on the edge of a continental shelf in the East China Sea, surrounded by waters less than 200 meters deep. Geologically, they are a part of the same island chain as Huaping Islet(花瓶嶼), Mianhua Islet(棉花嶼), and Pengjia Islet(彭佳嶼)northeast of Taiwan. They are located 230 nautical miles from Naha, the capital city of Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture on the Ryukyu Islands, separated by the Okinawa Trough, which has a maximum depth of over 2,000 meters.