China has confirmed that one of its warships “encountered” a US vessel.
The US reported a near-collision in the South China Sea earlier this month.
The US said its guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens was forced to take evasive action as the two ships neared each other on December 5.
It has been described as the most serious Sino-US confrontation in the South China Sea since 2009.
However, China said the incident was handled with “strict protocol”.
The US has said its ship was operating in international waters.
However, China claims parts of the South China Sea, and a state-run newspaper quoted an expert as saying that the US boat had been “harassing” China’s aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, as it carried out drills.
[youtube 8XuzWfKTyAM 650]