1. Geography of the Divided Waters
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing around 3,500,000 square kilometres from the Karimata and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan.
It also contains lucrative fisheries that are crucial for the food security of millions in Southeast Asia, and huge oil and gas reserves are believed to lie beneath its seabed.
See the map for the exact location of the sea and its surrounding nations.
The South China Sea functions as the ‘throat’ of the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans where global sea routes coalesce.