There are a huge number of countries that have coastlines on the western side of the Pacific Ocean. China’s coastline stretches for 14,500km from the Gulf of Bohai in the north of the country, to the Gulf of Tonkin in the south. The Bohai bay contains the Bohai Sea, which then leads into the Yellow Sea, and then into the Pacific. This sea is one of the busiest seas in the world as a result of its close proximity to the capital of China Beijing. The whole bay is supported by a large number of busy ports.
The Yellow River, which is the third largest river in China and the sixth longest in the water world flows into the bay. The bay also has the Hai Liao and Luan Rivers emptying their waters into it. The whole coastline has proved to be a popular area with several major cities such as Tianjin and Dalian being located there. The Gulf of Tonkin includes Hong Kong. This is now a special administrative region of China, have previously been controlled by the British. It is one of the most important financial centres in the world and is located on the Pearl River.
Just to the north of China are North and South Korea. In 1910 Korea was annexed from mainland China by the Japanese. At the end of the Second World War the north of Korea was put under Russian control while the south was placed under American control. The two countries are now separated by the Korean Demilitarized Zone and they share coastlines with the Sea of Japan to the east, and the Yellow Sea to the west. North Korea is a “Pariah State” and its recent nuclear testing has been taking place over the Pacific Ocean.
Just below China Vietnam has a coastline of 3,444 km on the South China Sea, which is one of the Pacific’s largest marginal seas. The country is long and very narrow which means that the Pacific Ocean has a huge influence over it. There numerous sea port with large scale industrial activity. There are also a number of rivers that flow into the South China Sea from Vietnam. In the north of the country the Red river enters the sea through its delta. In the south the Mekong Delta covers an area of 40,000 square km’s and the Mekong River empties huge amounts of fresh water into the sea.
Cambodia has a 443 km coastline on the Gulf of Thailand with much of country also influenced by the Mekong Delta. Off shore from Cambodia there are over 50 Islands that spread into the gulf. The Gulf of Thailand is another important Marginal Sea. Thailand itself has a long coastline in the Gulf of Thailand which stretches for 3000 kms in a horse shoe shape. The country also has a coastline on the Indian Ocean as well. When the 2004 Tsunami struck the coastline on the Indian Oceans side of the country was devastated, yet there was no effect in the sheltered Gulf of Thailand.
At the bottom of Thailand lies Malaysia which also has a coastline with the Indian Ocean on the western side of the country and the Pacific Ocean on the eastern side. The area bordering the Indian Ocean is fairly mountainous and contains tropical forest type vegetation and at the bottom of the country lies Singapore. There are numerous countries on the western side of the Pacific Ocean. They all influence, and are influenced by, the Ocean. This area contains some of the most densely populated areas on the planet and are also some of the most politically volatile.