Russian and Chinese Bombers Fly Joint Patrol Over Pacific
Japan and South Korea scramble to intercept
- Russia Performed a ‘Freedom of Navigation Operation’ Against South Korea and Japan
- South Korea Claims It Fired 100s of Warning Shots at First Ever Joint Russia-China Air Patrol
Russian and Chinese bombers flew a joint patrol mission over the Western Pacific Tuesday in a show of increasingly close military ties between Moscow and Beijing.
The Russian military said that a pair of its Tu-95 strategic bombers and four Chinese H-6K bombers flew over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the joint mission was intended to “develop and deepen the comprehensive Russia-China partnership, further increase the level of cooperation between the two militaries, expand their ability for joint action and strengthen strategic stability.”
— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) December 22, 2020
The ministry added that the patrol flight “wasn’t directed against any third countries.”
Tuesday’s mission was the second such flight since a July 2019 patrol over the same area.
It follows Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement in October that the idea of a future Russia-China military alliance can’t be ruled out — a signal of deepening military cooperation between Moscow and Beijing amid growing tensions in their relations with the United States.
Until that moment, Russia and China had hailed their “strategic partnership,” but rejected any talk about the possibility of their forming a military alliance.
Putin also noted in October that Russia has been sharing highly sensitive military technologies with China that helped significantly bolster its defense capability.
Russia has sought to develop stronger ties with China as its relations with the West sank to post-Cold War lows over Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other issues.
Source: Associated Press
Japan and South Korea have scrambled fighter jets to track Russian and Chinese bombers which flown a joint patrol mission over the western Pacific in a show of increasingly close military ties between Moscow and Beijing.
The Russian military said a pair of its Tu-95 strategic bombers and four Chinese H-6K bombers flew over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea on Tuesday.
Japan’s air self-defence forces scrambled fighter jets to track the bombers, which flew over the disputed Takeshima/Dokdo islands in the Sea of Japan, the Kyodo news agency said, quoting the defence ministry.
The islands are controlled by South Korea but also claimed by Japan. The Russian and Chinese planes also flew over the Tsushima Strait separating Japan and the southernmost point of the Korean peninsula, as well as an area near the southern island of Okinawa, home to tens of thousands of US troops.
South Korea also scrambled jets after the Russian and Chinese planes “in preparation for accidental situations” after they entered the country’s “air defence identification zone,” according to the Yonhap news agency.
The South Korean military and foreign ministry both contact their Russian and Chinese counterparts to express their concerns over the incident.
Source: The Guardian
South Korea said it scrambled fighter jets in response to an intrusion into its air defence identification zone by 19 Russian and Chinese military aircraft on Tuesday.
Four Chinese warplanes entered the Korea Air Defence Identification Zone (KADIZ) followed by 15 Russian aircraft, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
The South Korean military dispatched air force fighters to take tactical measures.
The South Korean military said the Chinese military had informed South Korea that its planes were carrying out routine training before the Chinese aircraft entered the KADIZ.
“This incident seems to be a joint military drill between China and Russia but it requires a further analysis,” the JCS said in a statement.
South Korea’s foreign ministry contacted China and Russia and told them there should not be a recurrence, Yonhap news agency reported.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the mission was part of annual cooperation plans between China and Russia, “not aimed at any third party”.
“During this training, Chinese and Russian warplanes abided by international law and did not enter South Korean air space,” he told reporters.
China’s Defence Ministry said in a separate statement that four of its H-6K bombers took part in what it termed a “joint patrol” with two Russian Tu-95 aircraft.
In July last year, South Korean warplanes fired hundreds of warning shots toward Russian military aircraft on a joint air patrol with China, when they entered South Korean airspace.
South Korea and Japan, which both scrambled jets to intercept the patrol at the time, accused Russia and China of violating their airspace. Russia and China denied it.