China on Tuesday voiced "firm opposition" to the Philippine government's move to involve a third party in settling dispute over the Huangyan Island in the South China Sea.
The move will "further escalate the situation and even change the nature of the issue," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a routine press briefing in Beijing.
A recent Philippine media report quoted the country's Foreign Affairs Secretary as saying that some countries were helping the Philippines to establish a "minimum credible defense posture" to complement its diplomatic capacity in dealing with territorial disputes with China.
Asked about the report, Hong said China had consistently used diplomatic means to urge the Philippines to correct its mistakes and ease the situation. He reaffirmed that Huangyan Island is an "inherent part" of China's territory, the Xinhua news agency reported.
by RTT Staff Writer
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