A Chinese military leader stressed China's unswerving determination to safeguard territorial integrity and urged the United States to honor its promises of not taking sides on the South China Sea issue.
"China resolutely safeguards peace and stability of the South China Sea and adheres to the settlement of disputes through negotiations with the countries directly concerned, " Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of China, told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
"China's determination and will to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity is unswerving," Fan said, adding China's construction activity on the Nansha Islands is within its sovereignty and must not be disputed.
Fan urged the United States to take an objective and fair view of the South China Sea issue, correctly understand China's policy intention, honor the commitment of not taking sides on territorial disputes, speak and act prudently and do more to work for China-U.S. mutual trust and peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Kerry reaffirmed the U.S. government's stance of not taking sides on the South China Sea issue and said the same stance will apply to other parties involved in the dispute.
Kerry said recent media reports on the South China Sea issue do not reflect any political decision by the U.S. government.
On military ties, Fan said China-U.S. relations, including the military ties, have entered a new historic stage, as efforts by the two countries to build the new-type of relations between major powers and correspondent new-type of military ties have made headways, thanks to personal involvement of Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama.
Stressing the smooth growth of military ties and breakthroughs in military exchanges, Fan said there is still room for stronger military ties.
"The key is to build mutual trust and deepen practical collaboration in various areas," Fan said.
Kerry said two presidents' agreement on improving U.S.-China ties applies to the military-to-military relations.
A stable and constructive military relationship is important for U.S.-China ties, Kerry said.
Kerry called for more practical cooperation in fighting pirates and humanitarian aid, progress in confidence-building measures like rule of behaviors for safety of air and maritime encounters, enhanced communication and trust to avoid incident.
Kerry arrived in Beijing earlier Saturday for his two-day China visit.