China chides Australia for 'irresponsible' policy paper

China has urged Australia to refrain from making "irresponsible remarks" after Canberra issued a foreign policy paper citing security risks in the disputed South China Sea caused by Beijing's activities there.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman on Thursday said Australia should not take sides because it isn't directly involved in the territorial disputes.

Earlier Thursday, Australia released its first detailed policy document in 14 years on its national interests and diplomacy.

It said Australia is "particularly concerned by the unprecedented pace and scale of China's activities" in the South China Sea.

China claims virtually the entire South China Sea, pitting it against Taiwan and four Southeast Asian nations with overlapping claims in the waterway.