A U.S. ship was trailed by Chinese vessels with no resistance after it sailed close to a disputed area on the South China Sea on Tuesday, NBC News reported.
The mission was meant as an open challenge to China’s claims over a group of at least a half dozen dredged islands. China says virtually all of the South China Sea belongs to it, despite overlapping water claims from neighboring countries.
The area, which includes the Spratly Islands, are in an area rich in oil and gas reserves.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi issued a warning, saying the U.S. should not “take rash moves and stir up troubles,” NBC News reported.