Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday the operation had violated Chinese and global law, "seriously" impairing the country's sovereignty and security as well as "endangering lives".
McCain entered the neighboring waters of relevant islands and reefs of China's Nansha Qundao without the permission of the Chinese government.
It continued that the U.S. sailing had violated both worldwide and Chinese law and, at the same time, had posed a threat to Beijing's security and sovereignty.
A United States defense official said the plan was for the destroyer to sail within 6 nautical miles of Mischief Reef, one of the artificial islands built by China in the Spratlys.
Geng said the USA action happened at a time when tensions in the South China Sea were beginning to ease, and was a clear statement that the United States intends to disturb stability in the region. China considered this a large concession to the US, the Guardian said.
The U.S.is not involved in the long-seething disputes in the busy and potentially oil- and gas-rich waters involving China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
But Beijing's reaction to the latest American naval operation has underscored that China has its own geopolitical sore points with the White House, including weapons sales to Taiwan and the repeated freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea.
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Indeed, Duterte criticized the United States for pushing the Philippines to raise the arbitral tribunal ruling with China when it did not send troops to help protect its islands in the South China Sea from Beijing's reclamation activities.
The US President's administration has vowed to conduct more robust operations in the South China Sea despite growing tensions with Beijing. "And that there is this freedom of navigation", he said.
The Chinese navy "identified the USA warship, warned and expelled it, " the spokesman said.
It's part of the Spratly Islands, where China has built artificial islands to shore up its claim.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang says in a statement that the current situation on the Korean Peninsula "is complex and sensitive".
In the wake of the ruling, U.S. businesses in China like KFC and Apple found themselves targeted by angry protestors. For the US, on the other hand, exaggerating the actual threat posed by North Korea is useful to legitimize its increased geostrategic presence in the Pacific, as well as to increase its military support for key allies in the region.
The US and China have worked together recently to crack down on North Korea, which continues to test nuclear missiles and maintains a hostile stance towards the US, South Korea and Japan. According to the ruling, the disputed Spratly Islets are not an exceptional economic zone.