BEIJING, July 13 (Xinhua) -- China is committed to solving disputes over the South China Sea through dialogue and consultation, and advancing cooperation with the Philippines, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Thursday.
Geng made the remarks at a daily press briefing in response to a statement released by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Wednesday. The statement was made on the one year anniversary of an "award" issued on the South China Sea arbitration.
Reports said the statement, which attributes regional peace and stability to the healthy environment of dialogue, cooperation and development, has released goodwill to the Chinese side and is beneficial to regional peace and stability.
China agrees that territorial disputes should be resolved in a manner consistent with the spirit of good neighborhood relations, and hails and supports the independent foreign policy of the Philippines, Geng said.
Since ties normalized last year, China and the Philippines have been back on track to peacefully solve disputes through dialogue and consultation, and established a bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea, Geng said.
He said that with the joint efforts of China and the ASEAN countries including the Philippines, the situation in the South China Sea has been stabilizing and a framework for the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea has been reached.
"This progress has benefited the peoples of both countries and meets the expectations of regional countries," Geng said.
While China is determined to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests over the South China Sea, the country is also committed to peacefully solving disputes through consultation and negotiation with countries directly concerned and determined to maintain peace and stability of the South China Sea with ASEAN countries, he said.