BEIJING, June 28 (Xinhua) -- A Ministry of Defense spokesman said Thursday that China opposes any military provocation committed by Vietnam as a result of the country's air patrols over China's Nansha Islands.
"China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters, and opposes any military provocation," ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said during a regular press conference.
Geng said the Chinese military has established a regular patrol system in its territorial waters to safeguard its sovereignty, security and developmental interests.
"The armed forces have the steady resolution and will to safeguard our territorial sovereignty, sea rights and interests," Geng said.
When asked how Chinese armed forces might respond if Vietnamese flights pass over the Chinese city of Sansha in the South China Sea, Geng said the military will take action according to relevant regulations if faced with a situation that could impact the country's security.
"We are firmly against any military provocation," he said.
Geng said China's armed forces shoulder the responsibility of safeguarding the country's territorial sovereignty, sea rights and interests, adding that this fact is not directly related to the establishment of the city of Sansha.
The State Council, or China's cabinet, has approved the establishment of the prefectural-level city of Sansha to administer the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha island groups and their surrounding waters, while the government seat will be stationed on Yongxing Island, part of the Xisha Islands, according to a statement from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
The council has abolished a county-level administrative office for the island groups that was also stationed on Yongxing Island, the statement said.