China urged Vietnam to respect its sovereignty and properly handle the South China Sea issue on Wednesday after the Vietnamese foreign ministry denounced the reported deployment of Chinese missile systems on the Nansha Islands as a "violation of Vietnamese sovereignty."
"China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and the adjacent waters," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily briefing on Wednesday.
"Our peaceful construction activities on the Nansha Islands, including the deployment of necessary national defense facilities, are meant to safeguard China's sovereignty and security, which is also the rights a sovereign state is entitled to."
Through efforts by both countries, relations between China and Vietnam have witnessed positive development, Geng said.
"We urge Vietnam to respect China's sovereignty and properly handle the South China Sea issue, promote relations and make them stay on the right track."
Geng's remarks came after Vietnam asked China to withdraw military equipment from the South China Sea.
"Vietnam requests that China, as a large country, shows its responsibility in maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea," Reuters reported.