China today claimed South China was "our territory" and said it will not "keep quiet" if other countries use force against it on the matter.
A senior leader of Communist Party of China said the country will not "flex its muscle" to resolve the issue but will not "keep quiet" if someone uses force against it on the matter.
"Peace prevailed and there was no such problem till we came to know that (South China Sea) has rich oil and natural gas reserves. Then everyone started claiming. We all know that it is our territorial land," Li Junru, member of Standing Committee of National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said.
"We want to solve this through dialogue and we wish to have a dialogue. Solving that will be good for our foreign policy and it will be according to our tradition," he said.
He accused other countries of "trying to flex their muscles" on the issue and made it clear that China will not resolve the issue through force.
On the building of its first aircraft carrier, he said it was meant to defend its maritime sovereigneity and not to engage in battle.
"It would never be used to invade any country....its major goal is to defend maritime sovereiginity," he said.
He was responding to questions on the South China Sea dispute.
China has territorial dispute with Vietnam, the Phillipines and Japan.