A three-day military drill will be conducted from Tuesday in waters near the South China Sea, China's maritime authorities announced Monday.
According to the Maritime Safety Administration of China, the military exercises will be held each day from 7 am to 5 pm, and passage through the area will be prohibited.
"It is a routine exercise under the Chinese navy's annual plan, and is not targeted at any country or any particular event," Wang Xiaopeng, a maritime border expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.
China conducted military exercises from July 5 to 11 in waters around the Xisha Islands before the arbitration court in the Hague announced its decision on the South China Sea dispute.
After Vietnam lodged a protest against the drills and demanded that China halt them, the defense ministry said that the drills were a "regular exercise," and that they were aimed at preparing the military to deal with security threats and to fulfill missions.
Wang noted that "frequent maritime operations shows progress in the country's military capabilities and are needed to safeguard China's maritime interests and sovereignty."
Meantime, China's air force has also organized a drill adjacent to Huangyan Island, PLA Air Force said on its official Sina Weibo account on Monday.
Chinese air force spokesperson Shen Jinke said new H-6K bombers, fighter jets, reconnaissance aircraft and aerial tankers have been deployed to perform tasks, including aerial inspections, simulated air combat and a cruise over the islands and reefs, adding that the combat cruise was meant to strengthen actual maritime combat capabilities to protect the country's sovereignty and regional security.