Maneuvering of the US warships in the South China Sea could lead to ‘a minor incident that sparks war’, Reuters quotes Admiral Wu Shengli as saying during a video teleconference with Admiral John Richardson on Thursday.

The talks were held after an incident involving a US warship which sailed within 12 nautical miles of one of the islands in the contested Spratly archipelago despite repeated protests of Beijing.

"If the United States continues with these kinds of dangerous, provocative acts, there could well be a seriously pressing situation between frontline forces from both sides on the sea and in the air, or even a minor incident that sparks war," a Chinese naval statement says.

Admiral Wu Shengli expressed hope that ‘the US side cherishes the good situation between the Chinese and US navies that has not come easily and avoids these kinds of incidents from happening again’.

The two naval officers agreed to maintain dialogue and continue scheduled port visits.