China says one of its navy ships grounded on a shoal also claimed by the Philippines has been refloated.
The Defense Ministry says rescue ships had freed the frigate early Sunday morning. It says that the ship was slightly damaged but none of the crew was injured.
The Philippines had earlier asked China to explain why the ship was in the area of Half Moon Shoal, which is part of the Spratly island group that is claimed by both countries.
The accident follows a tense months-long naval standoff in another disputed area in the South China Sea. The Philippines accused Chinese fishermen of poaching in its waters at Scarborough Shoal.
Competition for territory and resources in the South China Sea is on the rise.