China urges U.S. to stop supporting the Philippines' 'provocations'

BEIJING (Reuters) - China urged the United States on Friday to stop tolerating and supporting "provocations" by the Philippines, after Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell expressed concern about Beijing's "destabilizing actions in the South China Sea".

China and the Philippines have recently traded accusations over "dangerous and illegal maneuvers" affecting their respective vessels in the area around the Second Thomas Shoal, a disputed atoll in the busy waterway.

"The United States should stop condoning and supporting the Philippines' provocations and nuisance and take practical actions to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning.

The Philippines has sent missions to resupply soldiers living aboard a rusty, aging warship deliberately grounded by Manila in 1999 at the atoll to reinforce its sovereignty claims.

At a regular briefing, Mao added that the Philippines had turned its back on a consensus with China, challenging its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and insisting on delivering construction materials to the warship.

On June 17, a Philippine sailor was injured after what the Southeast Asian nation's military called "intentional-high speed ramming" by the Chinese Coast Guard, an assertion China has disputed, saying the actions were lawful.

Campbell made the remarks to China's Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu during a telephone call on Thursday, the U.S. State Department said.

The day before, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his Philippine counterpart, Eduardo Ano, discussed shared concerns over China's "dangerous and escalatory actions".

The United States reaffirmed its commitment to the Philippines' security, the White House said.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, including portions claimed by Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

(Reporting by Ethan Wang, Ella Cao and Bernard Orr; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Clarence Fernandez)