China has blamed the United States of “serious provocation” after a B-52 bomber flew last week near, only two nautical miles away from the Cuarteron Reef in the Spratly archipelago (Nansha in Chinese) in the South China Sea.

The Chinese Defense Ministry issued a statement  accusing the US of deliberately raising tensions in the disputed region. “The actions by the US side constitute a serious military provocation and are rendering more complex and even militarizing conditions in the South China Sea.”

Beijing has filed a formal complaint through the US embassy.

China claims large parts of the South China Sea.

The Chinese air defense was on “high alert” during the incident, which happened December 10, 2015.

The overflight was another show-of-force by the US to demonstrate that the United States will not accept the Chinese control of air or water close to the islands.

October 26, 2015 the U.S. Navy was already sent its destroyer US Lassen near the island to deliver that clear message to Beijing.