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China and Russia carry out aerial patrols over waters bordering Japan, the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan

China and Russia carry out aerial patrols over waters bordering Japan, the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan


China and Russia carried out joint aerial patrols over the Sea of ​​Japan and the East China Sea on Tuesday, as South Korea said it had deployed fighter jets in response to fighter jets near its airspace.

Beijing and Moscow “held the sixth joint air patrol in accordance with an annual military cooperation plan between China and Russia,” the Chinese Defense Ministry said in a statement.

China Shenyang J-16 fighter jet
The Chinese Shenyang J-16 fighter jet. Photo:, via Wikicommons.

The statement did not provide further details on the maneuvers, which took place over waters bordering Japan, the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan.

South Korea said four Russian and four Chinese military planes entered its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) around lunchtime on Tuesday, prompting it to scramble fighter jets.

An ADIZ is an area larger than a country’s airspace in which it attempts to control aircraft for safety reasons, but the concept is not defined in any international treaty.

The South Korean military “identified the Chinese and Russian planes before they entered the air identification zone,” Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

“We have deployed Air Force fighters to carry out tactical emergency preparedness actions,” he added.

The eight foreign planes did not violate Seoul’s airspace, the JCS said.

Flag of North Korea
North Korea. File photo: (stephan), via Flickr.

The incident comes after the defense ministers of South Korea, Japan and the United States agreed on Saturday to set up real-time data sharing on North Korean missile launches by the end of the day. end of the year.

South Korea supported Western sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine and sent humanitarian aid to Kyiv.

But it is bound by its own regulations prohibiting the provision of lethal aid to countries in conflict.

Close allies

China says it is a neutral party in the Ukraine war. He has been criticized by Western countries for his refusal to condemn Moscow and for his close strategic partnership with Russia.

In February, Beijing issued a document calling for a “political settlement” of the conflict, which Western countries said could allow Russia to hold much of the territory it seized in Ukraine.

poutine and xi
Chinese leader Xi Jinping with Russian President Vladimir Putin in July 2018. Photo: Wikicommons.

At a March summit in Moscow, Chinese leader Xi Jinping invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Beijing and the two leaders said relations were “entering a new era”.

Analysts say China holds the upper hand in relations with Russia and its influence is growing as Moscow’s international isolation deepens.

Beijing and Moscow were Cold War allies with a tumultuous relationship, but in recent years have grown closer, particularly in the economic and military spheres.

The two countries have touted what they call a “limitless” partnership and highlighted what they say is a close friendship between Presidents Xi and Putin.

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