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Part of the western Pacific Ocean. Reaching from Japan to the southern end of the Malay Peninsula, it is divided by the island of Taiwan into two sections. The northern section is the East China Sea, or Eastern Sea, which covers an area of some 290,000 sq mi (751,100 sq km), has a maximum depth of 8,912 ft (2,717 m), and is enclosed by eastern China, South Korea, the Japanese island of Kyushu, the Ryukyu Islands, and Taiwan. The southern section is the South China Sea, often called simply the China Sea, which covers an area of 1,423,000 sq mi (3,685,000 sq km), has a maximum depth of about 16,000 ft (5,000 m), and is enclosed by southeastern China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Borneo, and mainland Southeast Asia.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on China Sea, visit Britannica.com.