"The situation on the South China Sea is also improving with each day".
Speaking of Britain's plan, China's foreign ministry said it hoped "relevant sides don't try to create trouble out of nothing". The US can only concentrate on so many things at once, " he said.
Several other countries, including Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, also lay claim to the South China Sea and the billions of dollars it offers in oil reserves and trade opportunities.
China has reclaimed seven artificial islands in the South China Sea to bolster its expansive claim to almost the entire waterway.
U.S. warships have previously drawn protests from Beijing by travelling within the 12-mile Chinese territorial waters around the islands.
"I think we've always got to be vigilant to any form of malign intent". Most notably, with China's militarization of the South China Sea showing no signs of stopping, the Duterte government will continue to face global and domestic scrutiny as it seeks to warm ties with Beijing, making any significant advances on the South China Sea more hard.
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Sutherland and her fellow Type 23 HMS Argyll are heading to the Pacific "to continue the pressure campaign on North Korea", the Ministry of Defence said.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Tuesday that all foreign scientific groups, including from China, Japan, South Korea and the United States, have concluded their research work in the waters and that Duterte wanted future research missions to be done by Filipinos.
Second, the challenges that lie ahead for any kind of bilateral advance on the South China Sea should not be underestimated.
Maintaining the spirit of their first consultation in Guiyang, China in May 2017, representatives of China and the Philippines on Tuesday agreed to promote peace and stability in the region, and reaffirmed the importance of keeping the policy of freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea.
"So we would like to advise Australia to abide by its commitment and stop making irresponsible remarks on the South China Sea issue".
"So the stark warning is meant to forestall a growing momentum of worldwide opinion and support" for the USA line of thinking on the row, he said.
Of Beijing's increased efforts at militarising the region, Prof Tsang added: "China's assertiveness over the maritime disputes in South China Sea is part of a more general assertiveness. particularly since Xi Jinping came to power five years ago, but this did not start only after Xi came to power".