Belitung (bĕlēˈtŏng) [key], island (1990 pop. 192,972), 1,866 sq mi (4,833 sq km), Indonesia, in the Java Sea midway between Sumatra and Borneo. It has valuable tin mines (government-owned), worked chiefly by Chinese labor. Belitung is also known for its pepper. Ceded to the British by the sultan of Palembang in 1812, it later became a Dutch possession. The chief town and port is Tandjungpandan. It was formerly called Billiton.