China said it is committed to maintaining peace in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
Both Vietnam and the Philippines have complained about Chinese activity and even harassment in the contested South China Sea over the past week or so.
Meeting in Singapore, Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie told his Vietnamese counterpart Phung Quang Thanh that both should resolve their disputes peacefully. Hanoi had said it would use its navy to enforce its territorial integrity.
On the other hand US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Saturday he feared clashes would erupt in the South China Sea unless nations claiming the disputed waters adopted a mechanism to settle rows peacefully.