Three Chinese ships named Changbaishan, Wuhan and Haikou patrolled the Zengmu Reef on 26 January, Xinhua reports.
The ships formed a triangle and the officers and men lined up and held a sovereignty oath-taking ceremony in the waters of the Zengmu Reef.
James Shoal, also known as the Zengmu Reef, is an area claimed by both Malaysia and Beijing.
Malaysia voiced their protest against the incursion of four Chinese ships in James Shoal in March 2012, where Chinese sailors fired guns in the air during a visit to the shoal.
Naval Today Staff, January 27, 2014; Image: Wikimedia