China has strongly criticized a statement from foreign ministers of the Group of 7 industrialized countries taking aim at China's island-building activities in disputed sections of the South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Tuesday defended China's land-reclamation work in the Spratly island group and accused the G-7 of diverging from its mission of safeguarding the global economy.

In a statement, Lu said the group was "hyping up maritime issues and fueling tensions in the region" and said China was "strongly dissatisfied with relevant moves taken by the G-7."

On Monday, the G-7 ministers had issued their own statement expressing strong opposition to any "intimidating, coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions." The statement did not mention China by name.