Saturday, 31 March 2012 11:17
China on Thursday urged relevant countries to avoid escalating and complicating the South China Sea dispute and avoid taking actions that damage peace in the area.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a press conference, commenting on a report that claimed the Philippines and Vietnam planned to launch joint military exercises and joint patrols over the boundaries of the countries' territorial waters in the South China Sea.
Hong said China owns "indisputable sovereignty" over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters, and China opposes any illegal activity that infringes upon its sovereignty over the islands.
"To maintain the peace and stability in the South China Sea complies with the common and fundamental interests of relevant countries in the area," he added.
Relevant countries should comply with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and avoid taking actions that complicate and escalate disputes and damage the peace and stability in the South China Sea, said the spokesman.
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