Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday warned "non-regional forces" to avoid interfering in activities in the South China Sea.
"Outsiders are only out to stir trouble and ASEAN and China should unite to stop this," Yi said in a speech during his 2-day official visit in the Philippines.
Yi met with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano to sign a memorandum of understanding that would strengthen bilateral cooperation between China and the Philippines.
Both foreign ministers acknowledged that the bilateral consultation mechanism between Beijing and Manila has been instrumental in addressing concerns related to the disputed area.
Neither Yi nor Cayetano mentioned details about the possibility of joint explorations in the disputed waters.
Yi said the Chinese government is keen on becoming a "good neighbor and good brother" to the Philippines by supporting President Rodrigo Duterte's crackdown on illegal drugs.
More drug screening and inspection equipment from China is expected to arrive in the Philippines soon, Yi said.
Beijing will also fund the construction of 2 more drug rehabilitation centers, and has earmarked RMB2 million for resettlement and rehabilitation efforts in war-torn Marawi City, Yi added.