The Chinese Navy has again sent vessels through the Miyako Strait, a strategic entryway into the Western Pacific between the islands of Miyako and Okinawa, as part of drills, Chinese state-run media said.

The exercises, held Thursday, are the latest near Japanese territory as the navy continues to hone its ability to operate further from its shores.

The drills involved "exercises in communication, fleet formation changes, joint search-and-rescue operation and joint anti-piracy operation," China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.