China slams outside forces for sowing discord on the South China Sea issue, said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a routine press conference Tuesday.
Geng was responding to a question on frequent US military "freedom of navigation" operations in the South China Sea.
The US and other forces outside the region have been sowing discord on the South China Sea issue for a long time, Geng mentioned. Such actions will only disrupt the situation in the South China Sea and undermine regional peace and stability.
Geng said that with the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable and there is no problem with freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
Geng noted that with ASEAN countries, China will continue to eliminate interference on the basis of equal consultations. China and ASEAN countries have the confidence, wisdom and ability to build the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation, and safeguard regional peace and stability.
He said under the banner of "freedom of navigation", the US frequently sends ships and planes to the South China Sea to cause trouble. It is what the US does by provoking relations between countries that poses a threat to peace and stability in the area.
“We urge the US to face up to the positive trend of the current regional situation, respect and support the efforts of countries in the region to maintain regional stability, stop the irresponsible behaviors and stop being a troublemaker and saboteur of regional peace, stability and mutually beneficial cooperation,” Geng said.
(Compiled by Zhu Yurou)