BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday reiterated the importance of properly settling maritime disputes with the Philippines through consultation.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the remarks in response to a question regarding recent remarks made by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who said China warned there might be confrontation if the Philippines tried to exploit oil in the disputed South China Sea.
China has always been committed to solving disputes regarding the South China Sea through negotiations with directly involved countries, including the Philippines, she said at a regular press briefing.
"We promote putting aside disputes and engaging in joint exploitation, before the final settlement of disputes is achieved, to create conditions for the final settlement," Hua said.
China and the Philippines convened the first meeting of the bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea issue last Friday, in Guiyang, capital of southwest China's Guizhou Province.
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