China's foreign ministry on Tuesday urged some countries not to play up tensions or do anything detrimental to security mutual trust among regional countries and peace and stability, as Japan and the Philippines conducted joint naval drills in the South China Sea on Tuesday.
"We have taken note of the report and will pay close attention to this. The South China Sea remains stable in general. It is hoped that relevant countries would respect efforts by regional countries to safeguard the peace and stability of the South China Sea," Hua Chunying, spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a regular press conference on Tuesday.
The Philippines and Japan held their first joint naval exercises in the South China Sea on Tuesday, following a pact in January between the two countries aimed at improving security cooperation. "The exercises are not far from the Huangyan Islands," one of the sources in Japan was quoted by Reuters as saying on Friday. Philippine navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Jesus Millan was quoted by the Philippine News Agency on Sunday as saying that China has no reason to be worried about the naval exercises. Millan added that the joint naval drills had nothing to do with the ongoing dispute in the South China Sea. "The exercises are aimed at fostering camaraderie, as well as enhancing cooperation and interoperability," Philippine navy public affairs office chief commander Lued Lincuna said earlier.