BEIJING, April 8. /TASS/. China hopes the US will stop interfering in its territorial matters, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday after the US defence secretary made a warning over the militarization of territorial rows in the East and South China seas where China has disputes with several nations.
"China’s position on the South China Sea and other territorial disputes remains consistent," the spokesperson, Hua Chunying, said.
"We believe disputes with respective sides should be settled in a direct dialogue and consultations. And it is known that China has reached consensus on such talks with respective parties," the diplomat said.
"We hope the US will respect the will of China and these countries on the settlement of such disputes and the approval of other moves that will contribute to the strengthening of regional peace and stability," she said.
Earlier on Wednesday, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said after talks with Japanese counterpart Gen Nakatani that Washington would keep condemning any unilateral action challenging Japan’s control over the Daioyu islands (known as the Senkaku islands in Japan). Both countries claim sovereignty over the uninhabited islands.
The United States has repeatedly said the situation with the Tokyo-controlled archipelago came within the terms of the US-Japan security treaty of 1960.
Tensions between China and Japan over the islands flared up after in September 2012 Tokyo announced that it was buying islands from their private owners. After that China saw mass anti-Japanese rallies, while ships of the Chinese maritime police launched constant patrols close to the islands and now and then defiantly sail into the coastal zone.