Beijing: China on Tuesday denounced a US State Department document on the South China Sea dispute saying that Washington should abide by its commitment not to take sides on the issue.
"The document ignores basic facts and international legal principles," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing here when asked to comment on the US document, called "Limits in the Seas - China: Maritime Claims in the South China Sea".
"The United States has violated its commitment of not holding position and not taking sides in the South China Sea issue. Such a move is inconducive to the resolution of the South China Sea disputes and the peace and stability of the South China Sea," Hong said.
China's claims over almost all of the South China Sea (SCS) are contested by Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei.
"China has always been committed to resolving territorial disputes with the countries concerned through direct negotiation and friendly consultation on the basis of respecting history and international law," Hong said.
"We urge the United States to abide by its commitment, speak and act cautiously, and view and deal with the issue in a fair and objective way," he said.