China on Thursday said it had noticed the resumption of diplomatic contact between the Philippine Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Manila.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a routine press briefing when asked to comment on new remarks from the Philippine side.
In Manila, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said that Philippine diplomats "are endeavoring to undertake a new diplomatic initiative, which we hope will help diffuse the situation."
Hong said China took note of the remarks as well as the action taken by the Philippine Foreign Ministry.
China has reaffirmed its stance to the Philippine side and requested the country respect China's sovereignty over Huangyan Island, he said, urging the Philippines to refrain from actions that will escalate and complicate the tensions.
"We will closely follow the development of the situation and the actions taken by the Philippine side," said the spokesman.