BEIJING - The Chinese government on Wednesday expressed "strong protest" over several Filipino lawmakers' landing on China's Zhongye Island in the South China Sea.
"China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their surrounding waters," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said when responding to a question on the Filipino lawmakers' move.
Media reports said a group of Filipino lawmakers flew Wednesday to the island, which is called Pagasa Island by Filipinos, to assert their country's claim to the region.
"The move of the Philippine side seriously infringed China's territorial sovereignty," Ma said.
He added that it's an important consensus and common responsibility for the countries concerned in the region to safeguard the stability of the South China Sea and urged "the country involved" to abide by the bilateral consensus that has been reached as well as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the South China Sea in order not to make the situation more complicated.
The Declaration was adopted in November 2002 by China and the 10-member ASEAN, laying a political foundation for future commercial cooperation between China and ASEAN countries, as well as the long-term peace and stability in the region.