REE geochemistry in the surface sediments of South China Sea has been studied. 94 samples from the South China Sea were determined for 15 rare earth elements by ICP-AES method.The analytical results show that average REE contents are 152 ppm in the surface sediments of South China Sea.The chondrite-normalized REE distribution patterns show a negative Eu anomaly, and distribution curves are negative in the slope for sediments from most sedimentary areas of the South China Sea. But the REE distribution patterns do not show a negative Eu anomaly in sediments from the central basin, which is most distinct in sediments from the southeast central basin. It is considered that the fragments of Mesozoic intermediate-acid igneous rocks widely distributed along the coast of South China are the main source of REE in the surface sediments of the South China Sea. The sediments in the southeast central basin have been reworked by volcanic materials and are oceanic of mixed type.