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South China Sea

South China Sea
South China Sea.jpg
The northeastern portion of the South China Sea
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 南海
Traditional Chinese 南海
Hanyu Pinyin Nán Hǎi
Literal meaning South Sea
Alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 南中国海
Traditional Chinese 南中國海
Hanyu Pinyin Nán Zhōngguó Hǎi
Literal meaning South China Sea
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese Biển Đông
Chữ Nôm
Literal meaning East Sea
Thai name
Thai ทะเลจีนใต้
 [tʰā.lēː t͡ɕīːn tâ(ː)j]
(South China Sea)
RTGS Thale Chin Tai
Japanese name
Kanji 南支那海 or 南シナ海 (literally "South Shina Sea")
Hiragana みなみシナかい
Malay name
Malay Laut Cina Selatan
(South China Sea)
Indonesian name
Indonesian Laut Cina Selatan /
Laut Tiongkok Selatan
(South China Sea)
Filipino name
Tagalog Dagat Timog Tsina
(South China Sea)
Dagat Luzon
(Luzon Sea)
Dagat Kanlurang Pilipinas
(West Philippine Sea)
Portuguese name
Portuguese Mar da China Meridional
(South China Sea)

The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Karimata and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around 3,500,000 square kilometres (1,400,000 sq mi). The area's importance largely results from one-third of the world's shipping sailing through its waters and that it is believed to hold huge oil and gas reserves beneath its seabed.

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.

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 China's 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. The International Hydrographic Organization refers to the sea as "South China Sea (Nan Hai)".

The Yizhoushu, which was a chronicle of the Western Zhou dynasty (1046–771 BCE) gives the first Chinese name for the South China Sea as Nanfang Hai (Chinese: 南方海; pinyin: Nánfāng Hǎi; literally: "Southern Sea"), claiming that barbarians from that sea gave tributes of hawksbill sea turtles to the Zhou rulers. The Classic of Poetry, Zuo Zhuan, and Guoyu classics of the Spring and Autumn period (771–476 BCE) also referred to the sea, but by the name Nan Hai (Chinese: 南海; pinyin: Nán Hǎi; literally: "South Sea") in reference to the State of Chu's expeditions there. Nan Hai, the South Sea, was one of the Four Seas of Chinese literature. There are three other seas, one for each of the four cardinal directions. During the Eastern Han dynasty (23–220 CE), China's rulers called the Sea Zhang Hai (Chinese: 漲海; pinyin: Zhǎng Hǎi; literally: "distended sea").Fei Hai (Chinese: 沸海; pinyin: Fèi Hǎi; literally: "boil sea") became popular during the Southern and Northern Dynasties period. Usage of the current Chinese name, Nan Hai (South Sea), became gradually widespread during the Qing Dynasty.


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Wikipedia

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