BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese and U.S. militaries have multiple communication channels and have maintained necessary communication on the action level, said a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Thursday about a recent encounter between warships of the two countries in the South China Sea.
"The captain of the Chinese aircraft carrier had direct phone talks with the captain of the U.S. warship after the encounter, and properly handled the issue," said spokesman Geng Yansheng at a monthly press briefing.
Geng said there are multiple communication channels between the Chinese and U.S. militaries, such as defense consultations, working level meetings and direct phone links between the two defense ministries, and maritime consultative meetings.
The two militaries also maintain necessary communication on the action level according to international practice, Geng added.
"It is essential for both sides to communicate in different spheres and on levels," Geng said.
A Chinese navy warship on a regular patrol mission encountered a U.S. naval vessel in the South China Sea region "several days ago", according to a statement released by the Chinese Defense Ministry on Dec. 18.
Defense authorities of the two countries have reported relevant information to each other via normal channels and communicated effectively about the matter, the statement said.
It also said that the Chinese and U.S. armed forces are willing to enhance exchanges, practice closer coordination and make efforts to maintain regional peace and stability.