A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday that China's determination to solve a dispute with the Philippines over Huangyan Island via diplomatic means remains unchanged.
"The Huangyan Island incident was triggered by a Philippine warship's harassment against unarmed Chinese fishermen," spokesman Liu Weimin said at a regular news briefing.
The Philippines recently reported the presence of four Chinese Marine Surveillance ships and 10 Chinese fishing vessels near the island, the largest number since the dispute began in April. The Philippines also asked China to refrain from making any moves that might deteriorate the situation.
"Huangyan Island is an inherent part of China's territory and the surrounding waters are historic fishing areas for Chinese fishermen," Liu said.
"It should be pointed out that China's position of addressing the issue through diplomatic consultations has not changed," the spokesman said.
"We strongly urge the Philippine side to come back onto the right track toward a diplomatic solution," Liu said, adding that any words or behavior that could complicate the situation will not help to address the problem.