BEIJING, July 2 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday urged the Philippines to stop making provocative comments over the Huangyan Island dispute and do more to calm the situation.
"We hope the Philippine side will stop making provocative comments time and again to prod public opinion, and avoid complicating the situation," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin at a press briefing.
His remarks came in response to a question about recent comments by Philippine Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who was quoted by Philippine Daily Inquirer Monday as saying China's claim to Huangyan Island was "legally weak."
"It is without controversy that Huangyan Island is an inherent part of Chinese territory," Liu said.
"Recently, tensions over Huangyan Island have eased. We hope the Philippine side would do more that helps calm the situation and boosts bilateral friendly cooperation," said the spokesman.
When asked whether China would withdraw Chinese vessels from waters of Huangyan Island, Hong said the country has reduced government ships there as tensions eased. Chinese fishing vessels were using the area for shelter with the onset of the typhoon season, he added.