China said on Monday that multinational talks will not help resolve disputes in the South China Sea, but may make the issue even more complicated.
"The South China Sea disputes should be addressed through negotiations between nations that are directly involved, which is a consensus that has been agreed to in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea between China and ASEAN countries," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin.
Liu made the remarks in response to a question at a regular press briefing, adding that the declaration should be implemented "faithfully and comprehensively."
ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Last week, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba proposed a multilateral framework to settle maritime disputes in the South China Sea during a tour of Indonesia and other southeast Asian countries.
"We hope that countries outside of the region do more work that is conducive to peace and stability in the region of the South China Sea, and show more respect and support to nations within the region that are making efforts to solve disputes through bilateral talks and negotiations," Liu said.