The United States has for the first time urged China to remove missile systems deployed to contested man-made islands in the South China Sea, the Pentagon said Friday.

The move, believed to be the first time the U.S. had directly addressed the issue, came in a statement recapping high-level talks between the two sides in Washington on Friday.

"The United States called on China to withdraw its missile systems from disputed features in the Spratly Islands, and reaffirmed that all countries should avoid addressing disputes through coercion or intimidation," the statement said.