Beijing on Monday said it will hold a three-day military exercise in the South China Sea, for which it will bar access to a part of the region from Tuesday to Thursday. The area in question is off the east coast of China's Hainan island province, located close to the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands – both regions in the South China Sea claimed by a number of countries. China's maritime authority said on its website that entry to the region will be "prohibited", AFP reported.

The drill goes against the verdict of the international tribunal in The Hague, which had ruled in favour of the Philippines and said China had no legal basis to claim "historical rights" over the South China Sea. The Permanent Court of Arbitration had accused the country of breaching the sovereign rights of the Philippines by exploring resources near Reed Bank. However, China had rejected the verdict, saying its "territorial sovereignty and marine rights" in the seas will not be affected by the ruling.