BEIJING (Reuters) - China said it was better for the United States to leave the South China Sea dispute to the claimant states and any U.S. involvement may make the situation more complicated, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said on Wednesday.
Cui maintained that China did not provoke the incidents and said it was greatly concerned by frequent provocations by other parties in the South China Sea.
Tensions in the South China Sea have risen in the past month on concerns that China is becoming more assertive in the waters, parts of which are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
China's claim is by far the largest, forming a large U-shape over most of the sea's 648,000 square miles (1.7 million square km), including the Spratly and Paracel archipelagos.
(Reporting by Don Durfee; Writing by Ben Blanchard)