China warns U.S. not to stir up trouble in the South China Sea
Updated 22:18, 01-Mar-2019
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has reaffirmed commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, urging the U.S. not to make trouble out of nothing. 
Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said on Friday at a regular press conference that the situation in the South China Sea has been stabilizing under the efforts of regional nations.
He stressed that parties involved are dedicated to moving forward talks on a code of conduct in the South China Sea. 
"China and the neighboring countries in the South China Sea area are making efforts to safeguard regional peace and stability," Lu noted, "so if countries from outside the region, such as the United States, truly care about peace, stability and wellbeing of the people in the region, they should not start uncalled-for trouble or be deliberately provocative."
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Philippines earlier on Friday that the U.S. would come to its defense if it came under attack in the South China Sea. 
Boats in the South China Sea. /VCG Photo

Boats in the South China Sea. /VCG Photo

He made the remarks during a stopover in Manila after a summit in Hanoi with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea leader Kim Jong Un. 
The U.S Secretary of State also said that the world should keep "eyes wide open" about the risks of using Chinese technology. 
Lu rebuked that comment by saying there is nothing for Pompeo to worry about, as any government or people should know better about what is best for their own country. 
At the press conference, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson also confirmed that from February 27 to 28, the 27th joint working group meeting for the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the South China Sea was held in Myanmar's Naypyidaw. 
China expressed its wish last year to complete talks on the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea in three years, which has been endorsed by countries in the region.
"What I can tell you is, the talks on the draft negotiating text of the COC in the South China Sea have been advancing in a generally smooth way," Lu stressed. 
(With inputs from Xinhua)