The US navy destroyer, which sailed closed to the island claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea, has violated global law and endangered China's national security, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
"The Chinese army immediately sent warships (to the area) in accordance with the law to implement the identification of the USA ship and warn it off, " the spokesperson said.
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They sought compliance with an arbitration ruling past year that invalidated China's claims in the South China Sea.
China, which claims the South China Sea virtually in entirety, has protested such repeated USA military operations, which President Donald Trump's administration has continued partly to reassure allies locked in territorial rifts with Beijing.
The reef is part of the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, which is the scene of rival claims between China and neighbouring countries.
"Sinabi nila na walang additional reclamation, wala na silang pupuntahang reefs and shoals na ire-reclaim nila at gagawin nilang island".
Beijing upbraided the United States for the Thursday's operation - the third reported under the Trump administration.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement that the USA move undermined Chinese sovereignty and security and endangered the safety of front-line personnel from both sides. The Department of Foreign Affairs did not comment further on the issue.
Col Wu said that the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islets are China territory, which is fully backed by historical and legal documents.
The U.S. "freedom of navigation" operation has been previously conducted near China's reclaimed islands, called the Spratlys, or Nansha Islands, claimed also by the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan, among others.
"Freedom of navigation is guaranteed and anyone can do it so we just need to monitor", Padilla said in the same Palace press briefing.
"They happen off the coast of Canada" and "in the waters off shore of our major allies, friends, partners all around the world", she said.
Recently, China-ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting adopted the framework of the Code of Conduct (COC).The Code of conduct states that South China Sea disputes should be addressed through negotiations and consultations among the countries directly concerned, and China and ASEAN countries should work together to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea. Therefore, China's legitimate activities within its territorial sea will continue as a routine, according to the statement.
The Joint Communiqué reflects the consensus of the ministers on issues concerning ASEAN, wherein Vietnam and the Philippines are member states.