BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhua) -- China said Thursday the Japan-New Zealand prime ministers' meeting regarding the South China Sea issue was "inappropriate."
A joint press release by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his New Zealand counterpart Bill English, called on parties to settle their territorial disputes in the South China Sea in light of a 2016 ruling by an international arbitral tribunal, according to Japan's Kyoto News.
"With joint efforts by involved parties, including China, the South China Sea situation has stabilized and improved," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.
Japan has used this situation to make trouble, play up non-existent tensions and redirect attention to the so-called arbitral tribunal, while involved parties have already turned a page, Hua told a routine press briefing.
"We have to ask, what does Japan truly care about? Is it concerned about the stability of the South China Sea, or is it afraid of China-Philippines and China-ASEAN relations developing as the situation stabilizes," Hua said.
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