A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman on Tuesday expressed hope that companies from countries outside the South China Sea region could avoid getting involved in disputes over the sea.
Spokesman Liu Weimin made the comment at a routine press briefing in response to a question concerning deals reportedly inked between Russian and Vietnamese companies on gas exploration in the South China Sea.
China hoped companies from countries outside the South China Sea region would respect and support efforts made by directly concerned parties in resolving disputes through bilateral negotiations, said Liu.
China also hoped relevant directly concerned parties could meet each other half way with China, and avoid getting countries outside the region involved in relevant disputes, he said.
Reaffirming China's indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters, Liu said China was committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes through direct negotiation and friendly consultation with countries concerned based on respect for historical facts and international law.