Background The South China Sea is a semi-enclosed sea under the definition set down in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention).1 It has an area of 648,000 sq nm, twice the area of the Sea of Japan.2 There are hundreds of small islands in the South China Sea, namely uninhabited islets, shoals, reefs, banks, sands, cays, and rocks.3 They are distributed widely in the form of four groups of islands and underwater features, i.e. the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Qundao), the Paracel Islands (Xisha Qundao), the Macclesfield Bank (Zhongsha Qundao), and the Spratly Islands (Nansha Qundao). It is interesting to note that in Chinese these groups of small islands have a big name, "qundao" -archipelago. Such a nomenclature is questionable in law and/or in geography,4 particularly for the Macclesfield Bank that is permanently submerged under the water, though a common Chinese view has considered Scarborough Reef part of the Macclesfield Bank. 5 If such a view were generally accepted, then the English name should be changed to "Macclesfield Islands", 6 like those of the other three groups. However, a detailed discussion of this is beyond the scope of this chapter.