West Philippine Sea” redirects here. 3 trillion in trade each year, it contains lucrative fisheries that are crucial for the food south china sea international law chinese claims pdf of millions in Southeast Asia, and huge oil and gas reserves are believed to lie beneath its seabed. 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. This 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.