China believes regional countries have the desire, knowledge and ability to deal with the South China Seaissue, according to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang.
Geng made the statement in response to a question regarding U.S. President Donald Trump's offer to mediate on the South China Sea issue, while he visited Vietnam.
"We hope countries outside the region can respect regional countries' efforts to maintain peace and stability of the South China Sea, and play a constructive role in this regard," Geng told a news briefing held Monday.
"China firmly safeguards its sovereignty and maritime interests in the South China Sea, and sticks to settling disputes with parties directly concerned through negotiations," Geng said. "Currently the situation in the South China Sea has been stabilized with efforts of China and ASEANcountries."