China’s sweeping claims of sovereignty over the sea—and the sea’s estimated 11 billion barrels of untapped oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas—have antagonized competing claimants Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
As early as the 1970s, countries began to claim islands and various zones in the South China Sea, such as the Spratly Islands, which possess rich natural resources and fishing areas.
But, no single country can claim any piece of a far away sea if the history of the claimed water doesn't match with the birth of the name the country carries. That is the case here. China began to claim as 'People's Republic Of China'.
Before China was found, there was a coming and going of dynasties. And, each period under a different name but no China!