China's defense ministry said yesterday it was paying close attention to this week's navy drills between the United States and South Korea, and urged them to exercise restraint and not exacerbate regional tensions.
China has been angered by a decision to place an advanced US anti-missile system in South Korea, saying it will threaten China's own security and do nothing to calm things down with nuclear-armed North Korea.
Seoul and Washington say the missile system is purely to act as a defense against North Korean missiles, and have denied it is aimed at Beijing.
China's Defense Ministry said it was "paying close attention" to the joint US- South Korean naval drills, which feature the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.
"We hope the relevant sides remain calm and exercise restraint, and not do anything to exacerbate regional tensions," it added.
Tension on the Korean peninsula has been high this year, beginning with North Korea's fourth nuclear test in January.