Palau has asked China to remove a research vessel found operating in the country's waters.
Island Times reported the discovery of the ship last week prompted Palau to send a diplomatic note to China's embassy in the Federated States of Micronesia.
Palau said the Xiang Yang Hong 1 was "dangerously close" to newly-installed submarine cables and issued China a please explain.
China had been issued a permit for marine scientific research but this was for a different vessel.
Palau also informed the US embassy of the issue.