South China Sea

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The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around 3,500,000 km². Depending on measurement, it is the largest or second largest body of water after the five oceans.

It is located

The minute South China Sea Islands, collectively an archipelago, number in the hundreds. The sea and its mostly uninhabited islands 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.

Contents

Names for the sea

South China Sea is the dominant term used in English for the sea, and the name in most European languages is equivalent, but it is sometimes called by different names in neighboring countries, often reflecting historical claims to hegemony over the sea.

The English 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 (Mar da China); later needs to differentiate it from nearby bodies of water led to calling it the South China Sea.[1]

The International Hydrographic Organization refers to the sea as "South China Sea (Nan Hai)".[2]

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