China on Wednesday called on the United States to be objective, fair and reasonable in the way it deals with the South China Sea issue.
"On the islands and reefs stationed by China, we have built some necessary facilities for self defence. International law grants all sovereign states the right of self protection and self defence, and it has nothing to do with the so-called 'militarization'," said Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
He was speaking at a joint press briefing, following talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was wrapping up his two-day visit to China.
Wang said the islands in the South China Sea have been China's territory since ancient times. China has the right to protect its territory, sovereignty and legitimate maritime rights and interests.
China is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, with dialogue playing an integral role in any dispute, and solutions achieved through peaceful negotiation, he added.
He said China and the United States should manage the sensitive issues in a constructive manner to prevent them from interfering the bilateral cooperation.