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The South China Sea is a
marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% of Water distribution on Earth, Earth's w ...
of the
Western Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. T ...
. It is bounded in the north by the shores of
South China South China () is a geographical and cultural region that covers the southernmost part of China. Its precise meaning varies with context. A notable feature of South China in comparison to the rest of China is that most of its citizens are not ...
(hence the name), in the west by the
Indochinese Peninsula Mainland Southeast Asia (or the Indochinese Peninsula) is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consistin ...
, in the east by the islands of
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...
and northwestern
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
(mainly
Luzon Luzon (; ) is the largest and most populous List of islands in the Philippines, island in the Philippines. It is ranked List of islands by area, 15th largest in the world by land area. Located in the northern portion of the archipelago, it is the ...
,
Mindoro Mindoro is the seventh largest and eighth-most populous island in the Philippines. With a total land area of 10,571 km2 ( 4,082 sq.mi ) and has a population of 1,408,454 as of 2020 census. It is located off the southwestern coast of Luz ...
and
Palawan Palawan (pronounced ), officially the Province of Palawan ( cyo, Probinsya i'ang Palawan; tl, Lalawigan ng Palawan; hil, Kapuoran sang Palawan; ceb, Lalawigan sa Palawan), is an archipelagic province A province is almost always an admini ...

Palawan
), and in the south by
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the third-List of islands by area, largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Is ...

Borneo
, eastern Sumatra and the
Bangka Belitung Islands The Bangka Belitung Islands ( id, Kepulauan Bangka Belitung) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnati ...
, encompassing an area of around . It communicates with the
East China Sea The East China Sea is an arm of the Western Pacific Ocean, located directly offshore from East China (hence the name), covering an area of roughly . Its northern extension between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula Korea is a regi ...

East China Sea
via the
Taiwan Strait The Taiwan Strait, also known as the Formosa Strait, is a -wide strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between ...

Taiwan Strait
, the
Philippine Sea The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) ...
via the
Luzon Strait Old Japanese map of the Luzon Strait The Luzon Strait (Tagalog: ''Kipot ng Luzon'', ) is the strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel ...
, the
Sulu Sea The Sulu Sea ( fil, Dagat Sulu; Tausug language, Tausug: ''Dagat sin Sūg''; Chavacano: ''Mar de Sulu''; Cebuano language, Cebuano: ''Dagat sa Sulu''; Hiligaynon language, Hiligaynon: ''Dagat sang Sulu''; Karay-a language, Karay-a: ''Dagat k ...
via the
strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both sides and through the strait in either direction. Most commonly i ...

strait
s around Palawan (e.g. the
Mindoro Mindoro is the seventh largest and eighth-most populous island in the Philippines. With a total land area of 10,571 km2 ( 4,082 sq.mi ) and has a population of 1,408,454 as of 2020 census. It is located off the southwestern coast of Luz ...
and
Balabac Strait The Balabac Strait ( fil, Kipot ng Balabak; ms, Selat Balabak) is one of the straits that connects the South China Sea with the Sulu Sea. It separates Balabac Island (Palawan province), Philippines, from Balambangan Island, Balambangan and the ...
), the
Strait of Malacca id, Selat Malaka th, ta, hi, zh, , native_name_lang = , other_name = , image = Strait of malacca.jpg , alt = , caption = The Strait of Malacca connects the Pacific Ocean to ...
via the
Strait of Singapore The Singapore Strait is a , strait between the Strait of Malacca in the west and the Karimata Strait in the east. Singapore is on the north of the Channel (geography), channel, and the Riau Archipelago, Riau Islands are on the south. The Indon ...
, and the
Java Sea Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#S ...
via the
Karimata The Karimata Islands are a chain of small islands off the west coast ...

Karimata
and
Bangka Strait , native_name_lang = Indonesian , image = Bangka Topography.png , caption = Bangka Strait and Bangka Island Bangka (or sometimes Banka) is an island lying east of Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Isla ...
. The
Gulf of Thailand The Gulf of Thailand, also known as the Gulf of Siam, is a shallow inlet in the southwestern South China Sea The South China Sea is a of the . It is bounded in the north by the shores of (hence the name), in the west by the , in the east ...

Gulf of Thailand
and the
Gulf of Tonkin The Gulf of Tonkin ( vi, Vịnh Bắc Bộ, ; formerly known as or during the Republic of China (1912–1949), ROC period) is a gulf at the northwestern portion of the South China Sea, located off the coasts of Tonkin (northern Vietnam) an ...

Gulf of Tonkin
are also part of the South China Sea. The shallow waters south of the
Riau Islands The Riau Islands ( id, Kepulauan Riau) is a province of Indonesia Provinces of Indonesia are the 34 administrative division, administrative division of Indonesia and the highest tier of the local government (formerly called first-level re ...
are also known as the
Natuna Sea The Natuna Sea ( id, Laut Natuna) is an extensive shallow sea Shallow may refer to: Places * Shallow (underwater relief), where the depth of the water is low compared to its surroundings * Shallow Bay (disambiguation), various places * Shall ...

Natuna Sea
. The South China Sea is a region of tremendous
economic An economy (; ) is an area of the production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products ...

economic
and geostrategic importance. One-third of the world's maritime shipping passes through it, carrying over US$3 trillion in trade each year. Huge
oil An oil is any nonpolar In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound ...

oil
and
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane and commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxid ...

natural gas
reserves are believed to lie beneath its seabed. It also contains lucrative
fisheries Fishery is the enterprise of raising or harvesting fish and other aquatic life. Commercial fisheries include wild fisheries and Fish farming, fish farms, both in fresh water (about 10% of all catch) and the oceans (about 90%). About 500 million pe ...
, which are crucial for the
food security Food security is the measure of the availability of food and individuals' Economic inequality, ability to access it. According to the United Nations' Committee on World Food Security, food security is defined as meaning that all people, at all t ...
of millions in
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
. The
South China Sea Islands The South China Sea Islands consist of over 250 island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in_Lowe ...

South China Sea Islands
, collectively comprising several
archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as ...

archipelago
clusters of mostly small uninhabited
island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, i ...

island
s,
islet An islet is a very small island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll ( ...

islet
s (
cay A cay ( or ), also spelled caye or key, is a small, low-elevation, sandy island on the surface of a coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystems, ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of Colony (biolog ...
s and
shoal In oceanography Oceanography (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the peri ...
s),
reef A reef is a ridge or shoal In oceanography Oceanography (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following per ...

reef
s/
atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef, including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. There may be coral islands or cays on the rim. Two different, well-cited models, the subsiden ...

atoll
s and
seamount A seamount is a large geologic landform that rises from the ocean floor The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
s numbering in the hundreds, are subject to competing claims of sovereignty by several countries. These claims are also reflected in the variety of names used for the islands and the sea.


Names

''South China Sea'' is the dominant term used in English for the sea, and the name in most European languages is equivalent. This name is a result of early European interest in the sea as a route from Europe and South Asia to the trading opportunities of China. In the sixteenth century Portuguese sailors called it the China Sea (''Mare da China''); later needs to differentiate it from nearby bodies of water led to calling it the South China Sea. The
International Hydrographic Organization The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental organisation representing hydrography. As of December 2021 the IHO comprised 96 Member States. A principal aim of the IHO is to ensure that the world's seas, oceans and ...
refers to the sea as "South China Sea (Nan Hai)". The ''
Yizhoushu The ''Yi Zhou Shu'' () is a compendium of Chinese historical documents about the Western Zhou The Western Zhou ( zh, c=, p=Xīzhōu; c. 1045 BC – 771 BC) was the first half of the Zhou dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ) was a Chinese dynasty th ...
'', which was a chronicle of the
Western Zhou The Western Zhou ( zh, c=, p=Xīzhōu; c. 1045 BC – 771 BC) was the first half of the Zhou dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese Chin ...
dynasty (1046–771 BCE), gives the first Chinese name for the South China Sea as ''Nanfang Hai'' (), claiming that barbarians from that sea gave tributes of
hawksbill sea turtle The hawksbill sea turtle (''Eretmochelys imbricata'') is a critically endangered sea turtle Sea turtles (superfamily Chelonioidea), sometimes called marine turtles, are reptiles of the order Testudines and of the suborder Cryptodira. The seven ...

hawksbill sea turtle
s to the Zhou rulers. The ''
Classic of Poetry The ''Classic of Poetry'', also ''Shijing'' or ''Shih-ching'' (), translated variously as the ''Book of Songs'', ''Book of Odes'' or simply known as the ''Odes'' or ''Poetry'' (), is the oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry Chinese po ...
'', ''
Zuo Zhuan The ''Zuo Zhuan'' (; ), generally translated ''The Zuo Tradition'' or ''The Commentary of Zuo'', is an ancient Chinese narrative history that is traditionally regarded as a commentary on the ancient Chinese chronicle ''Spring and Autumn Annals ...

Zuo Zhuan
'', and '' Guoyu'' classics of the
Spring and Autumn period #REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dyna ...
(771–476 BCE) also referred to the sea, but by the name ''Nan Hai'' () in reference to the State of Chu's expeditions there. Nan Hai, the South Sea, was one of the
Four Seas The Four Sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
of Chinese literature. There are three other seas, one for each of the four cardinal directions. During the
Eastern Han#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...
dynasty (23–220 CE), China's rulers called the sea ''Zhang Hai'' (). ''Fei Hai'' () became popular during the
Southern and Northern Dynasties The Northern and Southern dynasties () was a period in the history of China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding ...
period. Usage of the current Chinese name, ''Nan Hai'' (South Sea), gradually became widespread during the
Qing Dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
. In Southeast Asia it was once called the Champa Sea or ''Sea of Cham'', after the maritime kingdom of
Champa Champa (Cham Cham or CHAM may refer to: Ethnicities and languages *Chams The Chams or Cham people ( Cham: ''Urang Campa'' / ꨂꨣꩃ ꨌꩌꨛꨩ, vi, người Chăm or người Chàm, km, ជនជាតិចាម), are an ethni ...

Champa
(nowadays
Central Vietnam Central Vietnam ( vi, Trung Bộ or ), also known as Middle Vietnam or The Middle, formerly known as by South Vietnam South Vietnam, officially the Republic of Vietnam (RVN; vi, Việt Nam Cộng Hòa; french: République du Viêt Nam), ...
), which flourished there before the
sixteenth century '', by Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1503–06, one of the world's best-known paintings : Mughal Army artillerymen during the reign of Akbar, Jalaluddin Akbar the Great The 16th century begins with the Julian calendar, Julian year 1501 (Roman numerals, M ...
. The majority of the sea came under Japanese naval control during World War II following the military acquisition of many surrounding South East Asian territories in 1941. Japan calls the sea ''Minami Shina Kai'' "South China Sea". This was written 南支那海 until 2004, when the Japanese Foreign Ministry and other departments switched the spelling to 南シナ海, which has become the standard usage in Japan. "
West Philippine Sea West Philippine Sea is the official designation by the Government of the Philippines, Philippine government of eastern parts of the South China Sea which are included in the Exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, Philippines' exclusive econ ...

West Philippine Sea
" is the official designation by the Philippine government of eastern parts of the South China Sea that are included in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone. The term is also sometimes incorrectly used to refer to the South China Sea as a whole. In China, it is called the ''"South Sea"'', 南海 (Nánhǎi), and in
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
the ''"East Sea"'', Biển Đông. In
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
,
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
and the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
, it was long called the "South China Sea" (Dagat Timog Tsina in
Tagalog Tagalog may refer to: Language * Tagalog language Tagalog (, ; ) is an Austronesian languages, Austronesian language spoken as a first language by the ethnic Tagalog people, who make up a quarter of the population of the Philippines, and as a se ...
, Laut China Selatan in
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language from the 4th to the 14th century ** ...
), with the part within Philippine territorial waters often called the "
Luzon Luzon (; ) is the largest and most populous List of islands in the Philippines, island in the Philippines. It is ranked List of islands by area, 15th largest in the world by land area. Located in the northern portion of the archipelago, it is the ...
Sea", ''Dagat Luzon'', by the Philippines. However, following an escalation of the
Spratly Islands dispute The Spratly Islands dispute is an ongoing territorial dispute between China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Brunei, concerning "ownership" of the Spratly Islands, a group of islands and associated "maritime features" (reefs, b ...
in 2011, various Philippine government agencies started using the name West Philippine Sea. A Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) spokesperson said that the sea to the east of the Philippines will continue to be called the
Philippine Sea The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) ...
. In September 2012, Philippine President
Benigno Aquino III Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino IIIQuezon, Manuel L.. (June 19, 2010Trivia on Aquino and Binay ABS-CBN News. Retrieved on January 23, 2012. (, born February 8, 1960), also known as "PNoy" or "Noynoy", is a Filipino Filipino may refer to: * ...
signed Administrative Order No. 29, mandating that all government agencies use the name ''West Philippine Sea'' to refer to the parts of the South China Sea within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, including the
Luzon Sea West Philippine Sea is the official designation by the Philippine government The government of the Philippines ( fil, pamahalaan ng Pilipinas) is the national government of the Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipi ...
as well as the waters around, within and adjacent to the Kalayaan Island Group and Bajo de Masinloc, and tasked the
National Mapping and Resource Information Authority The Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas or ''Filipinas'' ), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipina ...
(NAMRIA) to use the name in official maps. In July 2017, to assert its sovereignty,
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
renamed the northern reaches of its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea as the "North Natuna Sea", which is located north of the Indonesian
Natuna Islands ''(Sacred Ocean, Fortune Land) , image_map = , pushpin_map = Indonesia Riau Islands#Indonesia Sumatra#Indonesia#South China Sea , pushpin_map_caption = Location in Province of Riau Islands The Riau Islands ( ...
, bordering the southern Vietnam exclusive economic zone, corresponding to the southern end of the South China Sea. The "Natuna Sea" is located south of Natuna Island within Indonesian territorial waters. Therefore, Indonesia has named two seas that are portions of the South China Sea; the
Natuna Sea The Natuna Sea ( id, Laut Natuna) is an extensive shallow sea Shallow may refer to: Places * Shallow (underwater relief), where the depth of the water is low compared to its surroundings * Shallow Bay (disambiguation), various places * Shall ...

Natuna Sea
located between Natuna Islands and the Lingga and
Tambelan ArchipelagoTambelan archipelago is a group of 68 islands off the west coast of West Kalimantan West Kalimantan ( id, Kalimantan Barat) is a province of Indonesia. It is one of five Indonesian provinces in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Bo ...
s, and the North Natuna Sea located between the Natuna Islands and Cape Cà Mau on the southern tip of the
Mekong Delta The Mekong Delta ( vi, Đồng bằng Sông Cửu Long, literally ''Nine Dragon river delta'' or simply vi, Đồng Bằng Sông Mê Kông, "Mekong river delta"), also known as the Western Region ( vi, Miền Tây) or South-western region ( vi ...

Mekong Delta
in Vietnam.


Geography

According to
International Hydrographic Organization The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental organisation representing hydrography. As of December 2021 the IHO comprised 96 Member States. A principal aim of the IHO is to ensure that the world's seas, oceans and ...
(IHO) ''Limits of Oceans and Seas'', 3rd edition (1953), it is located. * south of
Chinese mainland Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitics, geopolitical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC) since Proclamation of ...
,
south of
Hainan Hainan (, ; ) is the smallest and southernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Hainan
,
west of
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
; * east of
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
; * west of the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
; * east of the
Malay Peninsula The Malay Peninsula (Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language f ...
, up to the east entrance of
Strait of Singapore The Singapore Strait is a , strait between the Strait of Malacca in the west and the Karimata Strait in the east. Singapore is on the north of the Channel (geography), channel, and the Riau Archipelago, Riau Islands are on the south. The Indon ...
, and south of the
Bintan Bintan Regency (; id, Kabupaten Kepulauan Riau) is an administrative area in the Riau Islands Province The Riau Islands ( id, Kepulauan Riau) is a provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia. It comprises a total of 1,796 islands scatte ...
and
Batam Island Batam is the largest city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routled ...
s; * the northeast coast of
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands The Sunda Islands are a group of islands in the Malay Archipelago. They consist of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia S ...

Sumatra
; * and north of the
Bangka Belitung Islands The Bangka Belitung Islands ( id, Kepulauan Bangka Belitung) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnati ...
and
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the third-List of islands by area, largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Is ...

Borneo
. However, in its unapproved draft 4th edition (1986), IHO proposed the
Natuna Sea The Natuna Sea ( id, Laut Natuna) is an extensive shallow sea Shallow may refer to: Places * Shallow (underwater relief), where the depth of the water is low compared to its surroundings * Shallow Bay (disambiguation), various places * Shall ...

Natuna Sea
, thus the South China Sea southern boundary was shifted northward, from north of the Bangka Belitung Islands to north and northeast of
Natuna Islands ''(Sacred Ocean, Fortune Land) , image_map = , pushpin_map = Indonesia Riau Islands#Indonesia Sumatra#Indonesia#South China Sea , pushpin_map_caption = Location in Province of Riau Islands The Riau Islands ( ...
. States and territories with borders on the sea (clockwise from north) include: the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
, the
Republic of China (Taiwan) Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...
, the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
,
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
,
Brunei Brunei ( ; ), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ), is a sovereign state, country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coa ...

Brunei
,
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
and
Vietnam Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam, ), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,, group="n" is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the ...

Vietnam
. Major rivers that flow into the South China Sea include the
Pearl A pearl is a hard, glistening object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shell Shell may refer to: Architecture and design * Shell (structure)A shell is a type of structural element which is characterize ...
, Min, Jiulong,
Red Red is the color at the long wavelength end of the visible spectrum of light, next to orange and opposite violet. It has a dominant wavelength Image:dominant wavelength.png, frame, Dominant/complementary wavelength example on the CIE color ...
,
Mekong The Mekong or Mekong River is a trans-boundary river in East Asia and Southeast Asia. It is the world's twelfth List of rivers by length, longest river and the sixth longest in Asia. Its estimated length is , and it drains an area of , disch ...

Mekong
, ,
Pahang Pahang (; ms, ڤهڠ, label=JawiJawi may refer to: People and languages *Australia: **Jawi dialect, a nearly extinct Australian aboriginal language **Jawi people, an Australian Aboriginal people of the Kimberley coast of Western Australia, ...

Pahang
, ,
Pampanga Pampanga, officially the Province of Pampanga ( pam, Lalawigan ning Pampanga; tl, Lalawigan ng Pampanga) is a Provinces of the Philippines, province in the Central Luzon Regions of the Philippines, region of the Philippines. Lying on the northe ...
, and
Pasig , officially the ( tl, Lungsod ng ), is a in the of the . According to the , it has a population of people. Located along the eastern border of Metro Manila Metropolitan Manila (often shortened as Metro Manila; fil, Kalakhang ...

Pasig
Rivers.


Extent

The
International Hydrographic Organization The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental organisation representing hydrography. As of December 2021 the IHO comprised 96 Member States. A principal aim of the IHO is to ensure that the world's seas, oceans and ...
in its ''Limits of Oceans and Seas'', 3rd edition (1953), defines the limits of the South China Sea as follows:
''On the South.'' The Eastern and Southern limits of
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
and
Malacca Strait id, Selat Malaka th, ta, hi, zh, , native_name_lang = , other_name = , image = Strait of malacca.jpg , alt = , caption = The Strait of Malacca connects the Pacific Ocean to ...
s line joining Tanjong Datok, the Southeast point of Johore () through Horsburgh Reef to Pulo Koko, the Northeastern extreme of Bintan Island (). The Northeastern coast of
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands The Sunda Islands are a group of islands in the Malay Archipelago. They consist of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia S ...

Sumatra
] as far West as Tanjong Kedabu () down the East coast of
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands The Sunda Islands are a group of islands in the Malay Archipelago. They consist of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia S ...

Sumatra
to Lucipara Point () thence to Tanjong Nanka, the Southwest extremity of Bangka Island, Banka Island (where it transitions as
Java Sea Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#S ...
), through this island to Tanjong Berikat the Eastern point (), on to Tanjong Djemang () in Belitung, Billiton, along the North coast of this island to Tanjong Boeroeng Mandi () and thence a line to Tanjong Sambar () the Southwest extreme of
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the third-List of islands by area, largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Is ...

Borneo
.

''On the East.'' From Tanjong Sambar through the West coast of Borneo to Tanjong Sampanmangio, the North point, thence a line to West points of Balabac Island, Balabac and Secam Reefs, on to the West point of Bancalan Island and to Cape Buliluyan, the Southwest point of

Palawan Palawan (pronounced ), officially the Province of Palawan ( cyo, Probinsya i'ang Palawan; tl, Lalawigan ng Palawan; hil, Kapuoran sang Palawan; ceb, Lalawigan sa Palawan), is an archipelagic province A province is almost always an admini ...

Palawan
, through this island to Cabuli Point, the Northern point thereof, thence to the Northwest point of Busuanga Island, Busuanga and to Cape Calavite in the island of
Mindoro Mindoro is the seventh largest and eighth-most populous island in the Philippines. With a total land area of 10,571 km2 ( 4,082 sq.mi ) and has a population of 1,408,454 as of 2020 census. It is located off the southwestern coast of Luz ...
, to the Northwest point of Lubang Island and to Point Fuego (14°08'N) in Luzon, Luzon Island, through this island to Cape Engaño (Luzon), Cape Engano, the Northeast point of Luzon, along a line joining this cape with the East point of Balintang Island (20°N) and to the East point of Mavudis, Y'Ami Island (21°05'N) thence to Garan Bi, the Southern point of Taiwan (island), Taiwan (Formosa), through this island to Santyo (25°N) its North Eastern Point.

''On the North.'' From Fuki Kaku the North point of Formosa to Kiushan Tao, Kiushan Tao (Turnabout Island) on to the South point of Pingtan Island, Haitan Tao (25°25'N) and thence Westward on the parallel of 25°24' North to the coast of Fujian, Fukien.

''On the West.'' The Mainland, the Southern limit of the

Gulf of Thailand The Gulf of Thailand, also known as the Gulf of Siam, is a shallow inlet in the southwestern South China Sea The South China Sea is a of the . It is bounded in the north by the shores of (hence the name), in the west by the , in the east ...

Gulf of Thailand
and the East coast of the
Malay Peninsula The Malay Peninsula (Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language f ...
.
However, in a revised edition of ''Limits of Oceans and Seas'', 4th edition (1986), the International Hydrographic Organization officially recognized the
Natuna Sea The Natuna Sea ( id, Laut Natuna) is an extensive shallow sea Shallow may refer to: Places * Shallow (underwater relief), where the depth of the water is low compared to its surroundings * Shallow Bay (disambiguation), various places * Shall ...

Natuna Sea
. Thus the southern limit of South China Sea is revised from the Bangka Belitung Islands to the
Natuna Islands ''(Sacred Ocean, Fortune Land) , image_map = , pushpin_map = Indonesia Riau Islands#Indonesia Sumatra#Indonesia#South China Sea , pushpin_map_caption = Location in Province of Riau Islands The Riau Islands ( ...
.


Geology

The sea lies above a drowned continental shelf; during Quaternary glaciation, recent ice ages global sea level was hundreds of metres lower, and
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the third-List of islands by area, largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Is ...

Borneo
was part of the Asian mainland. The South China Sea opened around Eocene, 45 million years ago when the "Dangerous Ground (South China Sea), Dangerous Ground" rifted away from southern China. Extension culminated in seafloor spreading around 30 million years ago, a process that propagated to the SW resulting in the V-shaped basin we see today. Extension ceased around 17 million years ago. Arguments have continued about the role of tectonic extrusion in forming the basin. Paul Tapponnier and colleagues have argued that as India collides with Asia it pushes Indochina to the SE. The relative shear between Indochina and China caused the South China Sea to open. This view is disputed by geologists who do not consider Indochina to have moved far relative to mainland Asia. Marine geophysical studies in the Gulf of Tonkin by Peter Clift has shown that the Red River Fault was active and causing basin formation at least by 37 million years ago in the NW South China Sea, consistent with extrusion playing a part in the formation of the sea. Since opening the South China Sea has been the repository of large sediment volumes delivered by the Mekong River, Red River (Vietnam), Red River and Pearl River (China), Pearl River. Several of these deltas are rich in oil and gas deposits.


Islands and seamounts

The South China Sea contains over 250 small
island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, i ...

island
s,
atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef, including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. There may be coral islands or cays on the rim. Two different, well-cited models, the subsiden ...

atoll
s, cays, shoals,
reef A reef is a ridge or shoal In oceanography Oceanography (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following per ...

reef
s, and sandbars, most of which have no indigenous people, many of which are naturally under water at high tide, and some of which are permanently submerged. The features are: * The Spratly Islands * The Paracel Islands * Pratas Island and the Vereker Banks * The Macclesfield Bank * The Scarborough Shoal The Spratly Islands spread over an 810 by 900 km area covering some 175 identified insular features, the largest being Taiping Island (Itu Aba) at just over long and with its highest elevation at . The largest singular feature in the area of the Spratly Islands is a wide
seamount A seamount is a large geologic landform that rises from the ocean floor The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
called Reed Tablemount, also known as Reed Bank, in the northeast of the group, separated from
Palawan Palawan (pronounced ), officially the Province of Palawan ( cyo, Probinsya i'ang Palawan; tl, Lalawigan ng Palawan; hil, Kapuoran sang Palawan; ceb, Lalawigan sa Palawan), is an archipelagic province A province is almost always an admini ...

Palawan
Island of the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
by the Palawan Trench. Now completely submerged, with a depth of , it was an island until it sank about 7,000 years ago due to the increasing sea level after the last ice age. With an area of , it is one of the largest submerged atoll structures in the world.


Resources

The South China Sea is an extremely significant body of water in a geopolitical sense. It is the second most used sea lane in the world, while in terms of world annual merchant fleet tonnage, over 50% passes through the
Strait of Malacca id, Selat Malaka th, ta, hi, zh, , native_name_lang = , other_name = , image = Strait of malacca.jpg , alt = , caption = The Strait of Malacca connects the Pacific Ocean to ...
, the Sunda Strait, and the Lombok Strait. Over 1.6 million m³ (10 million barrels) of crude oil a day are shipped through the Strait of Malacca, where there are regular reports of piracy, but much less frequently than before the mid-20th century. The region has proven Petroleum, oil reserves of around 1.2 km³ (7.7 billion barrel (unit), barrels), with an estimate of 4.5 km³ (28 billion barrels) in total. Natural gas reserves are estimated to total around 7,500 km³ (266 trillion cubic feet). A 2013 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration raised the total estimated oil reserves to 11 billion barrels. In 2014 China began to drill for oil in waters disputed with Vietnam. The area in question is known as ''Vanguard Bank'' and which Vietnam officials claim lies within their country's 200-mile exclusive economic zone. China, however, disputes this fact. According to studies made by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines, this body of water holds one third of the entire world's marine biodiversity, thereby making it a very important area for the ecosystem. However the fish stocks in the area are depleted, and countries are using fishing bans as a means of asserting their sovereignty claims. Indonesia's maritime waters have been breached by illegal fishing, fishing fleets from Vietnam and the Philippines leading to said ships being seized and sunk by Indonesian authorities. China announced in May 2017 a breakthrough for mining methane clathrates, when they extracted methane from hydrates in the South China Sea.


Territorial claims

Several countries have made competing territorial claims over the South China Sea. Such disputes have been regarded as Asia's most potentially dangerous point of conflict. Both the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
(PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC, commonly known as Taiwan) claim almost the entire body as their own, demarcating their claims within what is known as the "nine-dash line", which claims overlap with virtually every other country in the region. Competing claims include: * Indonesia, China, and Taiwan over waters NE of the
Natuna Islands ''(Sacred Ocean, Fortune Land) , image_map = , pushpin_map = Indonesia Riau Islands#Indonesia Sumatra#Indonesia#South China Sea , pushpin_map_caption = Location in Province of Riau Islands The Riau Islands ( ...
* The Philippines, China, and Taiwan over Scarborough Shoal. * Vietnam, China, and Taiwan over waters west of the Spratly Islands. Some or all of the islands themselves are also disputed between Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines. * The Paracel Islands are disputed between China, Taiwan and Vietnam. * Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam over areas in the
Gulf of Thailand The Gulf of Thailand, also known as the Gulf of Siam, is a shallow inlet in the southwestern South China Sea The South China Sea is a of the . It is bounded in the north by the shores of (hence the name), in the west by the , in the east ...

Gulf of Thailand
. * Singapore and Malaysia along the Strait of Johore and the Strait of Singapore. China and Vietnam have both been vigorous in prosecuting their claims. China (various governments) and South Vietnam Paracel Islands#Historical perspectives, each controlled part of the Paracel Islands before 1974. A Battle of the Paracel Islands, brief conflict in 1974 resulted in 18 Chinese and 53 Vietnamese deaths, and China has controlled the whole of Paracel since then. The Spratly Islands have been the site of a naval clash, in which over 70 Vietnamese sailors were killed just south of Chigua Reef in March 1988. Disputing claimants regularly report clashes between naval vessels. ASEAN in general, and Malaysia in particular, have been keen to ensure that the territorial disputes within the South China Sea do not escalate into armed conflict. As such, joint development authorities have been set up in areas of overlapping claims to jointly develop the area and divide the profits equally without settling the issue of sovereignty over the area. This is true particularly in the Gulf of Thailand. Generally, China has preferred to resolve competing claims bilaterally, while some ASEAN countries prefer multilateral talks, believing that they are disadvantaged in bilateral negotiations with the much larger China and that because many countries claim the same territory only multilateral talks could effectively resolve the competing claims. The overlapping claims over Pedra Branca, Singapore, Pedra Branca or Pedra Branca, Singapore, Pulau Batu Putih including the neighboring Middle Rocks by both Singapore and Malaysia were settled in 2008 by the International Court of Justice, awarding Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore and the Middle Rocks to Malaysia. In July 2010, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for China to resolve the territorial dispute. China responded by demanding the US keep out of the issue. This came at a time when both countries had been engaging in naval exercises in a show of force to the opposing side, which increased tensions in the region. The US Department of Defense released a statement on August 18 where it opposed the use of force to resolve the dispute, and accused China of assertive behaviour. On July 22, 2011, one of India's amphibious assault vessels, the INS Airavat (L24), INS ''Airavat'' which was on a friendly visit to Vietnam, was reportedly contacted at a distance of from the Vietnamese coast in the disputed South China Sea on an open radio channel by a vessel identifying itself as the Chinese Navy and stating that the ship was entering Chinese waters. The spokesperson for the Indian Navy clarified that as no ship or aircraft was visible from INS ''Airavat'' it proceeded on her onward journey as scheduled. The Indian Navy further clarified that "[t]here was no confrontation involving the INS Airavat. India supports freedom of navigation in international waters, including in the South China Sea, and the right of passage in accordance with accepted principles of international law. These principles should be respected by all." In September 2011, shortly after China and Vietnam had signed an agreement seeking to contain a dispute over the South China Sea, India's state-run explorer, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) said that its overseas investment arm ONGC Videsh Limited had signed a three-year deal with PetroVietnam for developing long-term cooperation in the oil sector and that it had accepted Vietnam's offer of exploration in certain specified blocks in the South China Sea. In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu issued a protest.South Asia Analysis Group

The spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India responded by saying that "The Chinese had concerns but we are going by what the Vietnamese authorities have told us and have conveyed this to the Chinese." The Indo-Vietnamese deal was also denounced by the Chinese state-run newspaper ''Global Times''. In 1999, Taiwan claimed the entirety of the South China Sea islands under the Lee Teng-hui administration. The entire subsoil, seabed and waters of the Paracels and Spratlys are claimed by Taiwan. In 2012 and 2013, Vietnam and Taiwan butted heads against each other over anti-Vietnamese military exercises by Taiwan. In May 2014, China established an Haiyang Shiyou 981 standoff, oil rig near the Paracel Islands, leading to multiple incidents between Vietnamese and Chinese ships. In December 2018, retired Chinese admiral Luo Yuan (admiral), Luo Yuan proposed that a possible solution to tensions with the United States in the South China Sea would be to sink one or two United States Navy aircraft carriers to break US morale. Also in December 2018, Chinese commentator and Senior Colonel in the People's Liberation Army Air Force, Dai Xu suggested that China's navy should ram United States Navy ships sailing in the South China Sea. The US, although not a signatory to United States and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS, has maintained its position that its naval vessels have consistently sailed unhindered through the South China Sea and will continue to do so. At times US warships have come within the 12 nautical-mile limit of Chinese-controlled islands (such as the Paracel Islands), arousing China's ire. During the US Chief of Naval Operations' visit to China in early 2019, he and his Chinese counterpart worked out rules of engagement, whenever American warships and Chinese warships met up on the high seas. On 26 June 2020, the 36th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit was held virtually. Vietnam, as the Chairman of the Summit, released the Chairman's Statement. The Statement said the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is "the basis for determining maritime entitlements, sovereign rights, jurisdiction and legitimate interests over maritime zones, and the 1982 UNCLOS sets out the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out."


Military maneuver

It was reported by VOA on 27 August 2020 that a  U.S. defense official said that the People's Liberation Army of China launched four medium-range ballistic missiles from mainland China into an area of the South China Sea.


2016 ruling

In January 2013, the Philippines formally initiated arbitration proceedings against China over issues including the "nine-dash line", characterization of maritime features, and EEZ. On 12 July 2016, an arbitral tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines on most of its submissions. It clarified that it would not "rule on any question of sovereignty over land territory and would not delimit any maritime boundary between the Parties" but concluded that there was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or resources, hence there was "no legal basis for China to claim historic rights" over the nine-dash line. It also concluded that China's historic rights claims over the maritime areas (as opposed to land territories and territorial waters) inside the "nine-dash line" would have no lawful effect if they were to exceed what's entitled to under UNCLOS. It criticized China's land reclamation projects and its construction of artificial islands in the Spratly Islands, saying that it had caused "severe harm to the coral reef environment". Finally, it characterized Taiping Island and other features of the Spratly Islands as "rocks" under UNCLOS, and therefore are not entitled to a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone. The arbitral tribunal decision was ruled as final and non-appealable by either country. China rejected the ruling, calling it "ill-founded". Taiwan, which currently administers Taiping Island, the largest of the Spratly Islands, also rejected the ruling. As of August 2, 2021, nine governments have publicly called for the ruling to be respected, 33 have issued generally positive statements noting the verdict but have stopped short of calling for the parties to abide by it, and eight have publicly rejected it. The governments in support are Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, United Kingdom, and the United States; the governments in opposition are China, Montenegro, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, and Vanuatu. The United Nations itself doesn't have a position on the legal and procedural merits of the case or on the disputed claims, and the Secretary-General expressed his hope that the continued consultations on a Code of Conduct between ASEAN and China under the framework of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea will lead to increased mutual understanding among all the parties. In March 2020, the Philippines expressed its concern about approximately 220 Chinese military vessels that were spotted in the disputed area.


See also

* * List of maritime features in the Spratly Islands *
South China Sea Islands The South China Sea Islands consist of over 250 island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in_Lowe ...

South China Sea Islands
* Spratly Islands *
Spratly Islands dispute The Spratly Islands dispute is an ongoing territorial dispute between China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Brunei, concerning "ownership" of the Spratly Islands, a group of islands and associated "maritime features" (reefs, b ...
* Territorial disputes in the South China Sea


References


Further reading

* * Francois-Xavier Bonnet
Geopolitics of Scarborough Shoal
Irasec Discussion Paper 14, November 2012 * C. Michael Hogan (2011
''South China Sea'' Topic ed. P. Saundry. Ed.-in-chief C.J. Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC
* Clive Schofield et al.
From Disputed Waters to Seas of Opportunity: Overcoming Barriers to Maritime Cooperation in East and Southeast Asia
(July 2011) * UNEP (2007).

'. UNEP/GEF/SCS Technical Publication No. 9. * Wang, Gungwu (2003). ''The Nanhai Trade: Early Chinese Trade in the South China Sea''. Marshall Cavendish International. . * Keyan Zou (2005).

'. London/New York: Rutledge Curzon. * United States. Congress. (2014)
Maritime Sovereignty in the East and South China Seas: Joint Hearing before the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces of the Committee on Armed Services Meeting Jointly with the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (Serial No. 113-137), House of Representatives, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, Second Session, Hearing held January 14, 2014


External links


ASEAN and the South China Sea: Deepening Divisions
Q&A with Ian J. Storey (July 2012)
Rising Tensions in the South China Sea
June 2011 Q&A with Ian J. Storey
News collections on The South China Sea
on China Digital Times
The South China Sea on Google Earth
- featured on Google Earth's Official Blog
South China Sea Virtual Library
- online resource for students, scholars and policy-makers interested in South China Sea regional development, environment, and security issues.



* [https://web.archive.org/web/20041206223201/http://www.iccwbo.org/ccs/imb_piracy/weekly_piracy_report.asp Weekly Piracy Report]
Reversing Environmental Degradation Trends in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand



Audio
Radio communication between United States Navy Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft operating under international law and the Chinese Navy warnings. {{Authority control South China Sea, Marginal seas of the Pacific Ocean Maritime Southeast Asia Seas of Indonesia Seas of Malaysia Seas of the Philippines Bodies of water of Brunei Seas of China Bodies of water of Hong Kong Bodies of water of Macau Bodies of water of Singapore Seas of Taiwan Bodies of water of Vietnam Disputed territories in Southeast Asia Territorial disputes of China Territorial disputes of Malaysia Territorial disputes of Vietnam Territorial disputes of the Philippines Territorial disputes of the Republic of China Indonesia–Vietnam border Malaysia–Vietnam border Seas of Asia China Seas