South China Sea: Waters of Contention

In this site you will find stories about the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands, written by VERA Files as well as articles by experts on the subject which, we think, will help in understanding the various facets of that vast, important area being contested by several countries.

Video from Philippine Coast Guard
Map from UP Asian Center Primer on West Philippine Sea

Some basic facts about South China Sea:

Area: Around 3,500,000 square kilometers (1,400,000 square miles).

Location: Online maps show the South China Sea is in the Southeast Asia part of the western Pacific Ocean. It is in the south of China, east and south of Vietnam, west of the Philippines and north of the island of Borneo.
The Spratly Islands form an archipelago in the South China Sea composed of over 100 islands, islets, cays, atolls and reefs. The Philippines, Brunei, China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan claim parts of the archipelago.
It is reported to hold huge oil and natural gas reserves and a rich fishing area. One-third of the world’s maritime trade, estimated to be worth US$3 trillion, passes through it every year.


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