China's foreign ministry said on Saturday a U.S. warship that sailed near an artificial island claimed by Beijing and several other nations has violated Chinese law by entering its territorial waters.
China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of world trade is shipped every year. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims.
"The American warship has violated relevant Chinese laws by entering Chinese territorial waters without prior permission, and the Chinese side has taken relevant measures including monitoring and admonishments," China's foreign ministry said in a statement.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said earlier that no ships from China's military were in the vicinity of the USS Curtis Wilbur when it passed near Triton Island in the Paracel Islands.
(Reporting by Nathaniel Taplin and Samuel Shen; Editing by Louise Ireland)