"The United States is not an involved party in the South China Sea issue. That's why it should act and speak on this issue carefully… We oppose resolutely the flexing of muscles by other states and attempts to impinge on Chinese sovereignty and security under the pretext of freedom of navigation and flights," Hong told reporters.
China and a number of regional states, including Vietnam, Taiwan and Malaysia, have rival claims to hundreds of islands and reefs in the South China Sea.
Beijing has claimed sovereignty over the Spratly Islands and a 12-nautical-mile zone surrounding them. The United States has recently challenged China’s claims by conducting patrols near the islands, citing freedom of navigation.