Trans-Pacific Asian dust transport has been well documented, but little is known about dust invasion to the South China Sea (SCS). This study presents the first detailed characterization of dust aerosols transported to the northern SCS. On 21 March 2010, a strong Asian dust storm affected large areas from the Gobi deserts to the West Pacific, including Taiwan and Hong Kong, and was also observed by a comprehensive set of instruments at Dongsha Island, a small island (about 2 km2, 20°42′52" N, 116°43′51" E) in the northern SCS. Aerosol measurements including particle mass concentrations, size distribution, optical properties, hygroscopicity, and vertical profiles help depict the evolution of this dust event. Our results indicate that the dust particles were mixed with anthropogenic and marine aerosols, and transported within 250 m above ground level. The long-range transport of Asian dust to the northern SCS could significantly impact the ecosystems in the region.