China warned the Philippines not to challenge its sovereignty and security interests on Thursday, after the Philippines' announcement of a plan to lease Japanese planes to patrol the South China Sea.
The Philippines will lease five aircraft from Japan to help patrol the South China Sea, President Benigno Aquino announced on Wednesday.
"We have noticed relevant media reports. China resolutely opposes the Philippines' move if it aims to challenge China's sovereignty and security interests," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing.
"Meanwhile, China will be on high alert for Japan's actions."
As Japan is a non-claimant country in the South China Sea dispute, China demands Japan be prudent in words and deeds and refrain from actions that jeopardize regional peace and stability, the spokesperson added.
China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed on a dual-track approach to resolve the South China Sea disputes. The directly concerned states, namely China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia, will peacefully negotiate while China and ASEAN countries work together to maintain peace and stability in the region.