China criticized the U.S. after an American warship sailed in disputed waters in the South China Sea, underscoring lingering military tensions between the nations.

The appearance of the USS Gabrielle Giffords near the Second Thomas Shoal on Monday "seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security,” according to a statement from the Chinese military.

The littoral combat ship "undermined regional peace and stability,” the military added, "demonstrating that the U.S. is the biggest threat to peace and stability” in the region.