The USS Stethem sailed within the territorial limits of Triton Island, part of the Paracel Islands, claimed by China and others.
China responded by sending ships and fighter jets to the island.
It was hours before US President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping spoke on the telephone.
However, a White House statement on his appeal did not say whether they had discussed the incident.
The USA. Have repeatedly slammed China’s demands for occupation and aggressive islands in disputed waters, but Beijing says it is within its sovereign right to do so.
Why is the South China Sea controversial?
Satellite images ‘show’ weapons built in the islands
M. Trump and Mr. Xi place “reaffirmed their commitment to a Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons,” the White House said. M. Trump also discussed North Korea with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in an independent appeal.
What happened near Triton Island?
In a statement issued Sunday, Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that the USS Stethem had entered waters claimed by China.
The warship had sailed the 12 nautical miles of Triton Island as part of its operations to “freedom of navigation,” according to news agencies and Fox News quoted US defense officials as saying.
UN rules state that any territory can claim waters up to 12 nautical miles from the coast. The navigation of an American ship within these limits indicates that the United States does not recognize these territorial claims.
Legend means In 2015, the BBC had a view of a new Chinese track on Reef Mischief
Beijing said it would use “all the necessary means to defend sovereignty and national security.”
He also accused the United States of America. Of “deliberately creating problems” in the region, while China and neighboring Southeast Asia had “cooled and improved the situation.”
The small island is also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. China has been involved in maritime disputes with many of its region’s neighbors in recent years.
Photo of a group of Chinese tourists on one of the Paracel islands on March 4 2017Image
Groups of Chinese tourists also visited the Paracel
Why did the United States warship embark on the island?
The United States to carry out a program called “freedom of navigation” that defies the “excessive pretensions” and the oceanic airspace in the world.
It was developed to ensure that all countries respect UN maritime standards.
The State Department says the program works through diplomacy, “operational affirmations” by the US military and consultations with other governments.
The military operation is the second since Mr. Trump took office.
In May, the USS Dewey sailed 12 miles from an artificial island built by China called the Mischief Reef, which is part of the Spratly Islands.
US Defense Secretary James Mattis said a few days after the United States would not accept the militarization of China’s artificial islands in the region.
In previous years, the United States conducted such operations against China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
What does the South China Sea conflict say?
Rival countries have played in the territory of the South China Sea for centuries, but tensions have gradually increased in recent years as Beijing began to reaffirm its allegations.