BEIJING, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- China urged non-regional countries to respect the efforts by regional countries to peacefully resolve South China Sea issues through dialogue and not damage the peace and stability of the region, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Monday.
Spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remarks at a daily news briefing when asked for comments on a Japanese submarine's drill in the South China Sea. According to the Japanese Defense Ministry, a Japanese submarine on the way to Vietnam's Cam Ranh Bay for the first time joined a naval drill in the South China Sea. This is also the first time that a Japanese submarine presented in the area.
"The situation in the South China Sea has been improving. China and ASEAN countries are working on promoting the Code of Conduct in South China Sea consultations, strengthening pragmatic maritime cooperation and resolving disputes properly," Geng said.
China urged non-regional countries to respect the efforts by regional countries and act prudently to escape damaging the peace and stability of the region, he added.