Beijing says it has summoned diplomats from the Group of 7 industrialized countries to protest their statement criticizing China's island-building activities in the disputed South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Wednesday that China "solemnly clarified" to the diplomats its position on the issue. Beijing has defended its land reclamation work in the Spratly islands as within its territorial rights and accused the G-7 of diverging from its mission of safeguarding the global economy.

The statement issued by the G-7 foreign ministers on Monday expresses strong oppositions to any "intimidating, coercive or provocative unilateral actions that could alter the status quo and increase tensions."

The statement, which didn't mention China by name, also expressed concern about the East China Sea, where Japan and China both claim uninhabited islands.