BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday stated China's basic view and policy on the South China Sea during talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Wang said the overall situation in the South China Sea is stable. China is capable and confident of working with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to safeguard peace in the region.
The freedom and safety of navigation in the South China Sea was, is and will always be, unquestionable, he said, noting that all countries enjoy the lawful right to free navigation in the South China Sea.
China and ASEAN countries have implemented the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and strengthened maritime cooperation, he said, adding that the negotiation on the South China Sea code of conduct(COC) is moving forward smoothly.
China has sufficient historical and legal evidence for its sovereignty over the Nansha islands and adjacent waters, Wang said.
The existing disputes in the South China Sea were caused by some countries' illegal occupation of islands belonging to China since the 1970s, he said.
"Even so, China has always been committed to solving disputes through negotiating directly with countries involved and in a peaceful manner," said the foreign minister.
He said that recent unfounded and untrue rumors had magnified disputes in the South China Sea and artificially upped tensions in the region.
"This is unacceptable," Wang said.