The People’s Liberation Army said on Tuesday it drove away a US guided-missile cruiser that "illegally intruded" into waters near the South China Sea's Nansha Qundao, a claim that the US Navy disputed.
"The actions of the US military seriously violated China's sovereignty and security," said Tian Junli, spokesman for the Southern Theatre Command of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
The ship in question, the USS Chancellorsville guided-missile cruiser, had recently sailed through the Taiwan Strait.
In a statement, the US Navy said the PLA statement was "false", calling it "the latest in a long string of PRC actions to misrepresent lawful US maritime operations".
US warships have passed through the South China Sea with increasing frequency in recent years.
Earlier, the PLA said the US cruiser's latest passage showed that the United States was a "security risk maker" in the South China Sea and "is another iron-clad proof of its hegemony in the navigation and militarisation of the South China Sea".
The PLA said its troops would remain on high alert, the Southern Theatre Command wrote on its WeChat social media account. (Reuters)