Hainan's maritime administration said an area southeast of the island province would be closed from Monday to Thursday, but gave no details about the nature of the exercises.
The announcement of the drills came in the middle of a three-day visit to China by the U.S. Navy's top admiral, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, to discuss the South China Sea dispute and ways to boost interactions between the two militaries.
Beijing responded by reiterating that the islands in the South China Sea are "China's inherent territory", adding that it could declare an air defence identification zone over the waters if it felt threatened.
A combat air patrol was mounted over the sea recently and these would become a regular practice in future, an air force spokesman said separately.
The official Xinhua News Agency quoted military spokesman Shen Jinke as saying late Monday that the air force had sent H-6K bombers and other aircraft, including fighter jets, to patrol islands and reefs, less than a week after a United Nations -backed global tribunal rejected Beijing's historic claims to much of the South China Sea.
"It is very helpful for us to strengthen communication between us and build confidence".
He said the court case at The Hague must be used by China's armed forces to improve its capabilities "so that when push comes to shove, the military can play a decisive role in the last moment to defend our national sovereignty and interests".
Last week, The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague ruled that there was no legal basis for China's claims to much of the sea, embodied in a "nine-dash line" that dates from 1940s maps and spreads to the other countries' coasts.
Last Friday, Beijing conducted a freedom of navigation maneuver of its own, with the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) flying an H-6K long-range nuclear-capable bomber over Scarborough Shoal, located in disputed waters of the South China Sea.
President Barack Obama's nominee for the next USA ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, said the United States would support China-Philippines negotiations that were free from "coercion and undue pressure".
China National Association of International Studies Director Victor Gao said that he believed that the U.S. was "very much involved in this arbitration case brought by the Philippines.trying to put pressure on China".
Reuters quoted a senior Chinese admiral as saying freedom of navigation patrols carried out by foreign navies in the South China Sea could end in disaster.
"This kind of military freedom of navigation is damaging to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, and it could even play out in a disastrous way", he said, without elaborating. Those patrols prompted Beijing to send fighter jets and ships to track and warn off the American ships, while accusing the USA of threatening its national security.
The area of sea identified is some distance from the Paracel islands and even further from the Spratlys, with both chains claimed by Beijing and several other neighboring states. It has turned reefs into artificial islands that can support military bases.
"The situation of the South China Sea is the concern of the worldwide community". Brunei, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam have competing claims over the maritime territory.