The PLA Navy reported that the drills took place on October 30.
Three days earlier, the USS Lassen sailed within 12 nautical miles of one of Beijing's man-made islands in the contested Spratly archipelago despite repeated warnings from China that such overt action would be taken as a deliberate provocation in an already strained relationship between the two countries.
"It's a signal China sent to the US that it is serious about its claims. This is the minimum level of response China should have, or it will fail the expectation of its people," the newspaper quoted Xu Guangyu, a retired Chinese general, as saying.
China did not disclose the location of the airstrip but experts believe it was built on Woody Island, the largest of the Paracels Islands. Like the Spratlys, the Paracels are subject to overlapping territorial claims. The island chain is controlled by China but also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.