The South China Sea was referred to as Zhanghai (literally “the rising sea”) because the water often overflowed. Tradition has it that Ma Yuan, a Chinese general of the Eastern Han Dynasty, “had accumulated rocks to form the reefs in order to get to the sea. He arrived in Xiangpu (in today’s Vietnam) through the reefs and marked it as the southernmost boundary.” 1 Later, there were names of Shitang (rocky reefs) and Changsha (long sand cays) in various Chinese historical records. For example, it is recorded in A New Account of Guangdong that “in the sea area beyond the eastern coast of Wanzhou lie Qianli Changsha and Wanli Shitang, which were created by the Heaven and Earth to prevent the overflow of Yanhai. Yanhai, because of its tendency to overflow, was also called Zhanghai.” 2