China said on Tuesday it would hold military exercises in the South China Sea this week, days after Beijing expressed its displeasure at the entry of a US aircraft carrier group into the disputed waters, according to Reuters.
The Chinese Maritime Safety Administration issued a memo, which banned entry to an area of water in the Gulf of Tonkin to the west of the Lizhou Peninsula in southwestern China from January 27 to 30, but the memo did not include details on the exact date or size of the exercises.
The US military had said that the aircraft carrier group "Theodore Roosevelt" entered the South China Sea on Saturday to promote "freedom of the seas", a few days after Joe Biden assumed the presidency of the United States.
These disputed waters have become another point of contention in the tense bilateral relations between Beijing and Washington.
The US military has steadily increased its activities there in the past few years, as China seeks to assert its demands for sovereignty in the region in the context of a conflict with neighboring countries that include Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan.
On Monday, China complained that the United States often sends ships and planes to the South China Sea, through which trade in trillions of dollars passes every year, to show its strength, indicating that this does not serve peace and stability in the region.