(CNN)China said it warned and tracked a U.S. Navy warship as it came close to one of its artificial islands in the South China Sea’s contested waters.
Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the United States, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday that the U.S. operation is “a very serious provocation, politically and militarily.”
Cui said it was a clear attempt by Washington to militarize the region.
“It is a very absurd and even hypocritical position to ask others not to militarize the region while one’s self is sending military vessels there so frequently,” he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the vessel “illegally entered into the waters of China’s Spratly Islands.”