South China Sea

marginal sea of the Western Pacific Ocean

The South China Sea is an ocean region in the south of China. It is a part of the Pacific Ocean.

South China Sea
A map of the South China Sea
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese南中國海
Simplified Chinese南中国海
Hanyu PinyinNán Zhōnggúo Hǎi
Vietnamese name
VietnameseBiển Đông
Malay name
MalayLaut China Selatan
Filipino name
TagalogTimog Dagat Tsina ('Dagat Kanlurang Pilipinas', meaning "West Philippine Sea", for the portion within Philippine waters)
Portuguese name
PortugueseMar da China Meridional

The sea and its islands and reefs are claimed by many nations, including China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.[1] These claims are mirrored in the many names used for the islands and the sea.

The name of the sea as used internationally is "South China Sea."[2] In Vietnam the sea is called "Biển Đông" (which exactly means "East Sea").[3][4][5]

In the Philippines the eastern part of the sea, right to the west of Luzon island, was commonly called "Luzon Sea," with the remaining sea still called "South China Sea."[6] To support its claims on the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal, the Philippines has named the eastern part of the sea the "West Philippine Sea" in 2012. Sometimes, this name is extended as the name of the entire sea itself in the country.[7][8]


Map of the South China Sea

The South China Sea runs from Singapore to the Taiwan Strait The sea has an area of around 3,500,000 km². It is located in the western arm of the Pacific Ocean

It is one of the largest seas after the five oceans. There are hundreds of small South China Sea Islands. As a group, these islands are called an archipelago.

Some of the bigger islands have people living on them. They are inhabited. Most of the islands are small and uninhabited.



  1. "Stirring up the South China Sea (II): Regional Responses," Archived 2013-06-19 at the Wayback Machine Asia Report N°229, 24 July 2012; retrieved 2013-4-17.
  2. Tønnesson, Stein (2005). "Locating the South China Sea". In Kratoska, Paul H.; Raben, Remco; Nordholt, Henk Schulte (eds.). Locating Southeast Asia: Geographies of Knowledge and Politics of Space. Singapore University Press. p. 204. ISBN 9971-69-288-0. The European name 'South China Sea' ... is a relic of the time when European seafarers and mapmakers saw this sea mainly as an access route to China ... European ships came, in the early 16th century, from Hindustan (India) ... The Portuguese captains saw the sea as the approach to this land of China and called it Mare da China. Then, presumably, when they later needed to distinguish between several China seas, they differentiated between the 'South China Sea', ...
  3. "VN and China pledge to maintain peace and stability in East Sea". Socialist Republic of Vietnam Government Web Portal. Archived from the original on 2021-07-03. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  4. "FM Spokesperson on FIR control over East Sea". Embassy of Vietnam in USA. March 11, 2001.
  5. "The Map of Vietnam". Socialist Republic of Vietnam Government Web Portal. Archived from the original on 2006-10-06.
  6. John Zumerchik; Steven Laurence Danver (2010). Seas and Waterways of the World: An Encyclopedia of History, Uses, and Issues. ABC-CLIO. p. 259. ISBN 978-1-85109-711-1.
  7. "The Diplomat – the Diplomat is a current-affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific, with news and analysis on politics, security, business, technology and life across the region".
  8. Quismundo, Tarra (2011-06-13). "South China Sea renamed in the Philippines". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 2018-10-03. Retrieved 2011-06-14.

Other websites


12°11′N 113°13′E / 12.183°N 113.217°E / 12.183; 113.217