BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday urged the U.S. side to speak and act cautiously on the South China Sea issue, reiterating that China was committed to solving the issue peacefully through negotiation with the countries directly concerned.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks at a daily briefing, when commenting on White House spokesperson Sean Spicer's comments on Monday concerning the South China Sea issue.
Noting that the United States is not a party in the dispute, Hua said that China exerts indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and its adjacent waters, and China is firmly committed to safeguarding its own sovereignty and maritime rights.
Hua said that China firmly preserves the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, as well as peace and stability in the region.
China makes continuous efforts to try to peacefully solve relevant disputes through negotiation with countries directly concerned, said Hua, adding that China's stance on the South China Sea issue is clear-cut, consistent, and unchanged.
According to reports, Spicer on Monday said that, "it's a question of if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China property, then yeah, we're going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country."