South China Sea Facts

South China Sea Facts
The South China Sea is located in the Pacific Ocean, south of China, northwest of the Philippines, east of Cambodia and Vietnam, and north of Borneo and the Bangka-Belitung Islands. At one time the South China Sea was referred to as the Sea of Cham or Champa Sea, after the Champa kingdom of the 1500s. In China it is referred to as China Sea, and Philippine agencies often refer to part of it as West Philippine Sea. In Vietnam they refer to the South China Sea as the East Sea. Countries that border the South China Sea include the People's Republic of China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Singapore.
Interesting South China Sea Facts:
The South China Sea covers an area of 1,400,000 square miles.
There are many rivers that flow into the South China Sea including Pasig River, Pampanga River, Pahang River, Rajang River, Mekong River, Red River, Jiulong River, Min River, and Pearl River.
It is believed that the South China Sea was created approximately 45 million years ago as a result of the large area referred to as 'dangerous ground' rifted away and opened up the sea.
Within the South China Sea's boundaries are more than 250 small islands, reefs, sandbars etc. most of which are often submerged at high tide.
It is estimated that more than one-half of all the shipping boats in the world pass through the South China Sea.
There are major gas and oil reserves believed to be located beneath the sea bed of the South China Sea.
Roughly 30% of the coral reefs in the world are located in the South China Sea.
The South China Sea is the main link between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, connecting the Middle East, Europe, and East Asia with shipping lines.
Fishing is big business in the South China Sea. It is estimated that approximately 10% of the commercially caught ocean fish in the world are from the South China Sea.
The fishing industry in the South China Sea provides jobs for millions of people in the region.
For centuries China has claimed the majority of the South China Sea as its own. There have been conflicts with other countries in South East Asia over its waters.
It is believed that if China controls all of the South China Sea it will limit the ability of foreign countries to move military through the waters.
The South China Sea is considered to be critical in terms of its marine bio-system.
There have been reports of fisherman using dynamite and poison to catch fish in the Spratly Islands of the South China Sea, which damages the eco-system on a major scale.
Marine life that can be found in the South China Sea includes giant oysters, sharks, eels, and endangered sea turtles, as well as a variety of seabirds such as great crested terns, and streaked shearwaters.
Roughly 37% of reef fish species and 76% of coral species are found in the South China Sea, making its preservation extremely important.

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