Foreign Ministry: No wholesale claims over S. China Sea sovereignty

China is committed to the proper solution of the South China Sea issue through peaceful talks with relevant and directly concerned countries in accordance with historical facts and the international law, Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

Such views are also the consensus of the directly concerned countries, spokesman Hong Lei said at a routine press briefing in response to a question concerning a U.S. commander’s remarks on China’s position on the South China Sea, Xinhua reported.

Admiral Robert Willard, the outgoing head of the U.S. Pacific Command which covers Asia, reportedly said on Tuesday that China was less confrontational in 2011 in asserting its claims in the South China Sea than it was in 2010.

China’s position on the South China Sea is clear and consistent, Hong said, noting China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands, and their adjacent waters.

The core of the South China Sea issue is the differences in opinions regarding territorial sovereignty of islands and reefs in the sea, and the demarcation of part of the sea area, Hong said.

Hong said it is necessary to point out that there is no country, including China, claiming the sovereignty over the whole South China Sea, as some people made irresponsible remarks in this regard on many occasions.

Hong said China hopes all parties, including those not directly concerned, can do more to benefit regional peace and stability, he said.

He added China and relevant countries have smooth negotiation and communication channel.