US warship sails close to Mischief Reef

This May 11, 2015, file photo, shows land reclamation of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

WASHINGTON — A Navy official says a U.S. warship has sailed close to a Chinese man-made island in a freedom of navigation operation in the disputed South China Sea.

The official tells The Associated Press that Chinese vessels were in the vicinity when the USS John S. McCain sailed near the Mischief Reef Thursday. It was not immediately clear if the Chinese challenged the Americans and asked the U.S. destroyer to leave as they have done in the past.

A Filipino security official says the Philippine military was notified by U.S. officials of the operation aimed at challenging China’s territorial claims in the disputed waters but added that Philippine forces were not involved.

China has protested such U.S. military maneuvers, which President Donald Trump’s administration has continued.