China on Thursday said there will be a "decisive response" if it was provoked in the disputed South China Sea over which its claims have been rejected by a UN-backed court.
"If anyone wants to take any provocative action against China's security interests based on the award, China will make a decisive response," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a press conference.
Beijing has rejected the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration that China had no historical claims over the South China Sea.
Lu reiterated China's stance on the tribunal, calling it "unlawful".
Beijing has boycotted the tribunal's proceeding and accused it of being funded by the former Philippines government that had approached court in 2013.
Earlier on Wednesday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said Beijing had the right to set up an air defence zone over the disputed waters.
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Karimata and Malacca Straits to the Straits of Taiwan, of around 3.5 million sq km.