BEIJING (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday he has stressed to China the need for differences over the disputed South China to be resolved peacefully.

Ban was speaking at a news conference in Beijing with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Tension has been rising ahead of a July 12 ruling by an arbitration court hearing the dispute between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea in the Dutch city of The Hague.

China says the court has no jurisdiction and it will neither participate in the case nor accept its decision.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard)