BEIJING, May 27 (Xinhua) -- China will continue to promote peaceful settlement of disputes through negotiation with the countries concerned, said China's Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin on Tuesday.
He added that no country should doubt China's determination and will to safeguard the peace and stability of the South China Sea.
Liu's remarks came amid rising tensions between China and Vietnam over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
"China is devoted to continuing to promote peaceful settlement of disputes through negotiations by countries directly concerned, as well as to promoting common development until we can find solutions to the disputes," Liu told reporters on the sidelines of a colloquium in Beijing commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence.
"Being the lifeline for China at sea, the South China Sea is far more important to China than to other countries," Liu said.
As the largest goods trading country in the world, China relies on the South China Sea and wants to maintain peace and stability there, he said.
While saying other countries do not need to worry about China's policy on the South China Sea, Liu emphasized that no country should doubt China's determination and will to safeguard the peace and stability of the South China Sea.
China will work with neighboring countries to ensure the stability and the navigation freedom of the South China Sea, making the South China Sea a sea of peace, cooperation and prosperity, the vice foreign minister said.
He added that China hopes countries outside of the region could make sincere joint efforts with China and other Asian countries to contribute to the peace of the South China Sea.
Following Vietnam's intensive harassment of normal drilling by the China Oilfield Services Limited in the waters of China's Xisha Islands in the South China Sea earlier this month, anti-China protests broke out about two weeks ago in some Vietnamese cities and then escalated into looting and arson targeting Chinese factories and nationals.
The violence left at least two Chinese dead and more than 100 others injured.