Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacifvic Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around 3,500,000 square kilometres. The area's importance largely results from one-third of the world's shipping transiting through its waters, and that it is believed to hold huge oil and gas reserves beneath its seabed. Territorial disputes in the South China Sea involve both land (island) and maritime disputes among seven sovereign states within the region, namely the People's Republic of China, Republic of China (Taiwan), Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. The interests of different nations include acquiring fishing areas around the Sea's two archipelagos, the potential exploitation of suspected crude oil and natural gas under the waters of various parts of the South China Sea, and the strategic control of important shipping lanes. Learn more about the territorial disputes in the South China Sea in the following pages.