Jonathan Greenert speaks at a media roundtable in Malaysia, Feb, 12. (Photo/CFP)
China's government on Friday slammed a US Navy official's remarks concerning the South China Sea and asked the United States to keep its position neutral on territorial disputes between China and the Philippines.
Admiral Jonathan Greenert, commander of the US Navy, said on Thursday that his country will come to the aid of the Philippines in the event of any conflict with China over disputed waters in the South China Sea.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded to the remarks at a regular press briefing. She said China has repeatedly expressed its firm position on the disputes and will address the issue through discussions and negotiations directly with concerned parties.
As a bilateral arrangement, the US-Philippines alliance should not undermine the interests of third parties, Hua said.
She emphasized that the US is not a party concerned in South China Sea disputes and it should keep its promise to maintain a neutral position on the issue. She added that the US should act in a prudent manner to make real efforts for peace and stability in the region.