The US patrol marked the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation.
Beijing: The Chinese government charged on Thursday that a US warship had entered its waters in the South China Sea "without permission", prompting China's navy to warn the vessel to leave.
"The relevant action taken by the US vessel undermines China's sovereignty and security interests," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a press briefing after the USS Dewey destroyer sailed less than 12 nautical miles from a reef claimed by Beijing.
A US Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, US officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since US President Donald Trump took office.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Dewey travelled close to the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors.