China sent a frigate and fighter jets to warn and drive away a US Navy destroyer, after the latter sailed near islands in the South China Sea on Tuesday, China's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Wednesday.
The frigate Huangshan, two J-11B fighters and one helicopter were sent in response to the US Navy destroyer's presence, a MND spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the Chinese military will enhance its self-defense in light of the US military's constant provocation, and will firmly defend China's sovereignty and interests.
The MND's response came after the US guided missile destroyer Chafee sailed near islands in the South China Sea on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
The report said the destroyer "carried out normal maneuvering operations that challenged 'excessive maritime claims.'"
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying also denounced the mission as a violation of China's sovereignty and interests on Wednesday.
"China strongly opposes the move and has lodged solemn representations with the US … and the Chinese government will continue to take firm measures to safeguard national territory, sovereignty and maritime interests," Hua said at a daily press conference.
The MND added that the two countries' navies are in a crucial period of developing ties, and that China urges the US to correct its mistake and do more to improve bilateral ties.
In August, the USS John S. McCain illegally sailed in waters near a reef in the South China Sea.
MND spokesperson Wu Qian said in a statement that Chinese Navy missile frigates Huaibei and Fushun were immediately sent to identify the US warship, warn and expel it.