Beijing, April 10 (IANS) China Tuesday expressed hope that "irrelevant parties" will avoid getting involved in disputes over the South China Sea.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said this at a press briefing in response to a question concerning deals reportedly inked between Russian and Vietnamese companies on gas exploration in the region.
China hopes that companies from countries outside the South China Sea region would respect and support efforts made by concerned parties in resolving disputes through negotiations, Xinhua quoted Liu as saying.
The South China Sea holds potentially vast reserves of oil and gas, and is an important shipping route. China lays claim to the whole of the sea, while other Southeast Asian nations claim parts of it.
The "relevant and directly-concerned parties" could avoid getting countries outside the region involved in disputes, he said.
Liu reaffirmed China's "indisputable sovereignty" over the Nansha islands and their adjacent waters.
China was committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes through "direct negotiation" and "friendly consultation" with countries concerned based on respect for historical facts and international law.
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nbsApril 10, 2012 at 7:38 PM