Beijing accused the United States of violating China's sovereignty after American missile destroyer sailed near a disputed coral island in the South China Sea.
USS Hopper sailed 12 miles or 22 kilometers from Huangyan Island, also named Scarborough Shoal, dated January 17.
China's defense ministry said in a statement that "a Chinese frigate took immediate action to identify and inspect the American vessel and drove it by issuing a warning."
China seized Huangyan from the Philippines in 2012.
China claimed virtually the entire South China Sea and had done extensive reclamation on many of the islands and corals it claimed, equipped parts of it with airfields and military means.
The South China Sea has a crucial voyage, a place rich in fish and possibly oil, gas and other mining products
The US has no claims of territory in the South China Sea and says it is neutral in the dispute, the United States has said it is concerned China is trying to militarize what should be free and open international waters. Goods are worth about $ 3 trillion across the area each year.
The US Navy regularly sailed across the area to uphold freedom of navigation.
China says it wants to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea through bilateral negotiations. [gp]