A full-spectral third-generation ocean wind-wave model, Wavelength-III, has been implemented in the South China Sea (SCS) for investigating wind-wave characteristics. This model was developed at the Ocean Modeling Branch of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). The NASA QuickSCAT data (0.25 deg resolution) 2 times daily were used to simulate the wind waves for the entire year of 2000. The significant wave heights from Wavewatch-III are compared to the TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) significant wave height data over the satellite crossover points in SCS. The model errors of significant wave height have Gaussian-type distribution with a small mean value of 0.02 m (almost no bias). The model errors are comparable to the T/P altimeter accuracy (0.5 m) in the central SCS and are smaller than the T/P altimeter accuracy in the northern and southern SCS, which indicates the capability of Wavewatch-III for SCS wave simulation.