Definitions

East China Sea

East China Sea

East China Sea, arm of the Pacific Ocean, c.480,000 sq mi (1,243,200 sq km), bounded on the E by the Kyushu and Ryukyu islands, on the S by Taiwan, and on the W by China. It is connected with the South China Sea by the Taiwan Strait and with the Sea of Japan by the Korea Strait; it opens in the N to the Yellow Sea. The Chang River empties into the sea, whose main ports are Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Fuzhou, China; and Chilung, Taiwan. Territorial control of much of the eastern half of the sea (and its oil and gas) is disputed between China and Japan.
The East China Sea is a marginal sea east of China. It is a part of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of 1,249,000 km². In China, the sea is called the East Sea. In South Korea, the sea is sometimes called "South Sea", but this is more often used to denote only the area near South Korea's southern coast.

Geography

The East China Sea is bounded on the East by the Kyūshū and Ryukyu Islands, on the South by Taiwan, and on the West by mainland China. It is connected with the South China Sea by the Taiwan Strait and with the Sea of Japan by the Korea Strait; it opens in the North to the Yellow Sea.

Territories with borders on the sea (clockwise from north) include: South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Mainland China.

Rivers

The Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) is the largest river flowing into the East China Sea.

Islands and reefs

There is a cluster of submerged reefs in the northern East China Sea. These include:

  • Socotra Rock, also called Suyan Rock or Ieodo, subject of an EEZ dispute between the People's Republic of China and South Korea.
  • Hupijiao Rock (虎皮礁)
  • Yajiao Rock (鸭礁)

EEZ disputes

There are disputes between China, Japan, and South Korea over the extent of their respective exclusive economic zones.

The dispute between China and Japan concerns natural gas. The People's Republic of China (PRC) recently discovered that there exists an undersea natural gas field in the East China Sea, part of the field lies within the Chinese EEZ while the remaining lies on the disputed EEZ between Japan and the PRC. Under the United Nation's Law of the Sea, PRC claims the disputed ocean territory as its own Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) due to its being part of PRC's natural extension of its continental shelf, while Japan claims the disputed ocean territory as its own EEZ because it is within 200 nautical miles (370 km) from Japan's coast.

China has set up the Chunxiao gas field, which is located more than 4 km inside the Chinese side of the EEZ boundary claimed by Japan and is within China's own EEZ, to extract the natural gas. Japan maintains that although the Chunxiao gas field rigs are on China's side of a median line that Tokyo regards as the two sides' sea boundary, they may tap into a field that stretches into the disputed area. Japan therefore seeks a share in the natural gas resources.

The dispute between China and South Korea concerns Socotra Rock, a submerged reef on which South Korea has constructed a scientific research station. While neither country claims the rock as territory, China has objected to Korean activities there as a breach of its EEZ rights.

See also

External links

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