January 9, 2012 / 7:42 AM / 8 years ago

China rejects Manila's accusation of maritime intrusion

BEIJING, Jan 9 (Reuters) - China on Monday rejected accusations by Manila that three Chinese ships had intruded into waters claimed by the Philippines.

China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan have conflicting claims in the Spratleys, an area believed to contain huge deposits of oil and gas in the South China Sea. .

Manila last week expressed “serious concerns” to China after it said two Chinese vessels and a Chinese navy warship were spotted last month in disputed waters claimed by the Philippines.

Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin called those accusations groundless at a regular Foreign Ministry briefing on Monday, saying “China has indisputable sovereignty” over the area.

He also said he hoped the Philippines would “not provoke trouble and make disturbances” and do more to protect peace and stability in the region. (Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Ken Wills)

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