The Pentagon said a U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer on October 10 carried out a freedom-of-navigation operation near islands claimed by China in South China Sea.
The USS Chafee, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, did not come within 12 miles of any individual islands - a distance China considers territorial waters - but did enter the "straight baseline" that Beijing claims around the island group, according to the officials.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Chafee, a guided-missile destroyer, carried out normal maneuvering operations that challenged "excessive maritime claims" near the Paracel Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors.
"In the face of repeated provocation by the U.S. forces, the Chinese military will further strengthen preparation for combat at sea and in the air and improve the defenses to resolutely defend national sovereignty and security interests", China's Defense Ministry said in a statement, quoted by the South China Morning Post newspaper.
Following Tuesday's event, the ministry said the US had "infringed upon China's sovereignty and security, harmed mutual trust between the two armies as well as regional stability". The Chinese military will further strengthen its naval and air defense capability to safeguard its sovereignty and security, the ministry said.
"We demand the USA side earnestly take steps to correct its mistakes", the ministry said in a statement.
Next month, Trump makes his first visit to Asia as president, including a stop in China, which he has been pressuring to do more to rein in North Korea.
The Pentagon has said the United States would continue to carry out the freedom-of-navigation operations. "China is firmly opposed to that and has lodged stern representations with the United States".
China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, and has heavily militarized some islands in the region and expanded other territories with major land reclamation work, turning sandbars into islands and equipping them with airfields, ports and weapons systems.
At a ceremony at the South Korean Embassy, Roh said he will explain to Beijing officials that Seoul's THAAD deployment is purely for defensive purposes against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats and is not aimed at China.