In the sixteenth century, the world had little knowledge about Southeast Asia. Western merchants and sailors of that time called the sea, which is encompassed by the present-day Southeast Asian countries, the “South China Sea” to refer to the enclosed sea basin and its location in relation to the surrounding countries lying to the north of Australia, east of India, and south of China.  

Notably, ancient Chinese historical documents called the sea 交阯洋 (Giao Chỉ Dương), which means the Sea of Jiaozhi or Jiaozhi Sea and that, Jiaozhi is an ancient name of Vietnam. Other lesser known names include Champa Sea or Sea of Cham, after the maritime kingdom that flourished between the seventh and sixteenth centuries.

In this modern era, as human civilization evolved towards a multi-faceted global collaboration, the international community, since the 20th century, has geographically formed a sub-region in Asia to address mankind’s need. This region was officially named Southeast Asia and consists of Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

Southeast Asia represents approximately 600 million people who have, in a joint effort, made unique and original contributions to modern civilization in many aspects, including culture, science, education, economics, politics, etc. In addition to the above, these are facts:

1.       The United Nations has officially recognized the region and named it “Southeast Asia”.

2.       The countries of Southeast Asia encompass almost the entire South China Sea with a total coastline measuring approximately 130,000 kilometers (81,250 miles) long; whereas the Southern China’s coastline measured about 2,800 kilometers (1,750 miles) in length.

3.       Freedom of navigation on the sea is not restricted to a specific country. It is a common heritage of mankind and has actually been used by the international community for centuries as the second most important water channel in the world.

Join the campaign to ask the Presidents and Prime Ministers of 11 countries of Southeast Asia, the President of United Nations Atlas of the Oceans, and the CEOs and Presidents of 12 geographic organizations around the world to change the name “South China Sea” to “Southeast Asia Sea”.

Sign the petition and your action will forever be remembered in the modern history of Southeast Asia.



- Petition texts in different languages (Kiến nghị được dịch ra một số ngôn ngữ):

English   French    Filipino    German     Hindi     Indonesian     Japanese    Japanese (.pdf)  

Korean     Netherlands    Polish    Portuguese     Russian    Thailand (.pdf)   Turkish    

Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt)  Spanish

- Addressee List (danh sách các nơi nhận kiến nghị): CLICK HERE

- Báo cáo việc đệ trình hơn một vạn chữ ký đầu tiên: BẤM VÀO ĐÂY

- Submission of the first 10,000+ signatures: CLICK HERE

- How to sign the Petition if you live outside the US: CLICK HERE

- Hướng dẫn ký tên dành cho quý vị ở các quốc gia ngoài Hoa Kỳ: HƯỚNG DẪN

We need your help to translate the petition texts (the background and the letter) into other languages: Cambodian, Laotian, Burmese, Brunei, Malaysian, Español, Italian, Chinese, and others. - please email us at - Thank you.




Letter to
Presidents and Prime Ministers of 11 Countries of Southeast Asia
The United Nations Chairman and President
Australian Geographic President
and 14 others
German Geographic President
Google Inc. CEO and Executive Chairman
National Geographic Society CEO and President
The United Nations Atlas of the Oceans President and Officers
Royal Geographical Society (UK) President
Russian Geographical Society President
Geographical Society (France) President
Korean Geographical Society President
European Geographic Society President
Japan Academic Societies Center President
Canadian Royal Geographic President
National Hydrographic Office (India) President
Canadian Geographic President
Secretary General of ASEAN Surin Pitsuwan
In my opinion, the naming of “South China Sea” has been used erroneously for a long time to depict the current geographical state of the body of water surrounded by the countries of South East Asia.

With the utmost sincerity, I urge you to change the name to "Southeast Asia Sea" at any possible opportunities, so as to accurately reflect the knowledge that mankind has on geographical environment, the obvious state of geographical dominance in said region, the interests of 600 million people of Southeast Asia, and the point of view of the international community.

Your actions will undoubtedly inspire the people of that region, and even beyond, to show more care and compassion towards our planet and thus profoundly promote the betterment of human civilization and environment.

Truly yours,