Beijing: China on Friday said it will remain on high alert over Huangyan Island after a group of Filipinos reportedly planned to sail to the island in the South China Sea.
"Huangyan Island is part of China's territory," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a briefing here responding to reports that the group, headed by a retired Filipino military officer, intended to travel to the island to plant a Philippine flag.
The officer was reportedly barred from doing so by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III.
"We have taken note of the reports," Hong said adding that the Chinese side will "remain on high alert over the island to prevent any provocative behaviour".
"We also hope that the Philippine side will stop making irresponsible remarks and inciting radical behaviours," he said.
He also urged the Philippines to "come back to the right track of a diplomatic solution" to the ongoing dispute over the sovereignty of Huangyan Island and "send clear and consistent messages" on the matter.
For over a month and China and Philippines had a verbal war over the uninhabited island, called Huangyan island by China and Panatag shoal by Philippines.
First Published: Saturday, May 19, 2012, 00:16