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South China Sea

2023 OCT 23

Preliminary   > Geography   >   Places in news   >   Places in news

Why in news?

  • Tensions in the South China Sea escalated as China and Philippines traded accusations following two collisions between Chinese vessels and Philippine boats during a resupply mission near Second Thomas Shoal in the disputed Spratly Islands.

About South China Sea

  • South China Sea is an arm of western Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia.
  • It is south of China, east & south of Vietnam, west of the Philippines and north of the island of Borneo.
  • It is connected by Taiwan Strait with the East China Sea and by Luzon Strait with the Philippine Sea.
  • It contains numerous shoals, reefs, atolls and islands. The Paracel Islands, the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal are the most important.

Bordering states

  • People’s Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam.


  • Strategic importance: This sea holds tremendous strategic importance for its location as it is the connecting link between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. (Strait of Malacca)
  • Trade route: According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) one-third of the global shipping passes through it, carrying trillions of trades which makes it a significant geopolitical water body.
  • BiodiversityThis sea has one-third of the entire world’s marine biodiversity and contains lucrative fisheries providing food security to the Southeast Asian nations.
  • Oil reserves: South China Sea is believed to have huge oil and gas reserves beneath its seabed.



How many of the following are bordering South China Sea?

  1. Taiwan
  2. Japan
  3. Malaysia
  4. Australia

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) Only one

(b) Only two

(c) Only three

(d) All the four