The People's Liberation Army Navy ship, reportedly the Type 052C Luyang II-class guided-missile destroyer Lanzhou (170), part of the Chinese navy's South Sea Fleet, took on the US Navy's Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Decatur (DDG-73) during a close approach near Gaven Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands.
The United States is one of several countries pushing back against such expansive claims, and the destroyer USS Decatur was conducting a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) to assert the rights of global ships and shipping to pass through the area.
The US Navy said in a statement Monday that the two ships came within 45 yards (41 meters) of each other, as the Chinese warship "conducted a series of increasingly aggressive maneuvers accompanied by warnings for the Decatur to depart the area".
"We demand the parties concerned stop fabricating and spreading rumours", she said.
Gaven Reef is close to the disputed Spratly Islands, where China has made several territorial claims not recognized by the US and other nations in the region.
He will also argue that Chinese officials have tried to influence business leaders to condemn USA trade actions, "leveraging their desire to maintain their operations in China".
It confirmed a Chinese missile destroyer was immediately deployed to identify the American vessel and drive it away.
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China claims most of the strategic waterway.
WASHINGTON-Vice President Mike Pence will deliver a stinging rebuke to China in a speech scheduled for Thursday in which he will take aim at what he says are Beijing's attempts to influence US elections and global politics. USA officials verified the pictures to CNN.
The Chinese defence ministry said yesterday it opposes the U.S. warship's entry into the waters "around China's islands and reefs".
The proposal, which comes at a time of heightened tensions between the USA and China, has yet to be approved.
Mike Pence, the USA vice president, will sharpen criticism of Chinese foreign policy with a blunt warning on Thursday that Washington will not back away from what it sees as Beijing's intimidatory tactics in the South China Sea. "It is a serious threat to the sovereignty and security of China, will damage seriously the relations between China, the United States and their armed forces, and gravely undermines peace and regional stability", said chinese authorities.
In 2016, an arbitration panel under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, ruling in an appeal filed by the Philippines, did not support China's claims to Gaven Reef, among other shoals and maritime features in the sea.
Mattis this week acknowledged "tension points" between the USA and China, but told reporters he did not "see it getting worse".
His speech is also set to blame China for interfering in USA domestic policies and splitting the country by influencing business leaders to condemn its trade actions. The South China Sea is claimed by China but remains disputed, while the East China Sea has been declared an air defense identification zone by China.