China and Southeast Asian countries are willing and able to handle the South China Sea issue themselves, Chen said, in an oblique reference to the United States, whose comments on the dispute and naval patrols in the waterway have angered Beijing.
"We also hope countries outside the region can objectively view positive change in the South China Sea situation, and do more for peace and stability in the region," Chen said.
China has appeared uneasy at Vietnamese efforts to rally Southeast Asian countries over the busy swathe of sea as well as at its neighbor's growing defense ties with the United States, Japan and India.
In July, under pressure from Beijing, Vietnam suspended oil drilling in offshore waters also claimed by China. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan also claim parts of the South China Sea, and dispute China's contention of sovereignty over most of the waters.
China has undertaken more construction and reclamation in the South China Sea, recent satellite images show, and is likely to more powerfully reassert its claims over the waterway soon, regional diplomats and military officers say.
Xi is also visiting Laos during his tour, another communist-run county once firmly in Vietnam's orbit, but which is now increasingly close to Beijing and the site of several major Chinese infrastructure projects.