"Vessels and aircraft of the US military have for a long time carried out frequent reconnaissance in waters and airspace under Chinese jurisdiction, which seriously affects China's national security and could easily cause accidents," Xinhua quoted defence ministry's spokesperson Geng Yansheng as saying at a monthly briefing.
The comments came in response to a question regarding a Chinese naval ship's sailing in areas near the ongoing US-organised RIMPAC (Exercise Rim of the Pacific) maritime exercise.
Geng said the ship's presence beyond the US territorial waters is in accordance with international and US domestic laws.
"We expect the United States to respect the legitimate rights of the Chinese vessel," added the spokesman.
"The Chinese vessel's operation -- its scope, frequency and manner -- is far different from that of the US vessels which frequently go on reconnaissance in Chinese waters and airspace," the official said.