East China Sea

The East China Sea is a sea of the Pacific Ocean.

It is bordered on the west by the Asia continent, the south by the South China Sea, and the east is bordered by Japan’s Ryukyu and Kyushu Islands.

The East China Sea connects the Sea of Japan through the Korea Strait. It also connects with the South China Sea via the Strait of Taiwan.

Countries such as Taiwan, China, South Korea, and Japan border the East China Sea.

The sea is sometimes referred to as the South Sea.

This is used when referring to the area near the southern coast of South Korea.

East China Sea Facts for Kids

  • The largest river flowing into the East China Sea is the Yangtze River, otherwise known as Chang Jiang.
  • The East China Sea has a total surface area estimated to be about 482,000 square miles.
  • The East China Sea has a huge presence of submerged reefs in the northern region such as Yajiao Rock, Hupijiao Rock, and Socotra Rock.
  • The East China Sea is one of only four seas found in Chinese literature. The other three seas are named according to their geographical directions. Until World War II, the East China Sea was regarded as the East Shina Sea in Japanese. It wasn’t until 2004 that the Japanese Foreign Ministry completed the switch to call it the East China Sea.
  • American whalers used the East China Sea for hunting purposes between 1849 and 1892.
  • The East China Sea has distinguished economic zones that have been disputed between Japan, South Korea, and the Republic of China. The sea has a width of just 360 nautical miles. However, both China and Japan claim to have 200 nautical miles each which has led to disputes and the subsequent intervention of the United Nations.
  • The East China Sea is not considered to be a very deep sea as about three-quarters of the sea has a depth that is below 650 feet, while the average depth of the sea is about 1,145 feet.
  • The predominant weather in East China is the monsoon winds.
  • Fishing is one of the major activities around the East China Sea, and it is mostly carried out by the locals using small boats. The locals hunt for sardines, shellfish, shrimp, sea breams, tuna, mackerel, and a lot of other fish species.
  • One of the reasons why there have been disputes regarding the East China Sea is because there are vast deposits of oil found beneath the sea’s continental shelf.
  • In 1995, the Chinese discovered natural gas right underneath the sea, named Chunxiao Gas Field. This field lies within the Chinese Economic Zone. However, the Japanese believe the gas field has other connections with possible reserves that are beyond the median line. Therefore, the Japanese have not given their consent to the exploitation of natural gas in the sea which is near the area where both countries’ economic zones overlap.
  • Most of the continental shelf of the sea is owned by the Neo-Cathaysian Geosyncline which dates back to a minimum of 300 years. The Ryukyu is a chain of islands having several volcanic islands located on the East China Sea. Epicenters of earthquakes have been discovered along the Okinawa Trough, meaning many of the volcanoes are still very much active.