Russia conducted out what it said was its first long-range joint air patrol within the Asia-Pacific region with China on Tuesday, a mission that triggered hundreds of warning shots, according to South Korean officials, and a robust protest from Japan.
The flight by two Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers and two Chinese H-6 bombers backed up by a Russian A-50 early warning plane and its Chinese counterpart, a KJ-2000, marks a distinguished ramping-up of military cooperation between Beijing and Moscow.
That’s one thing likely to worry politicians from Washington to Tokyo and will complicate relations and lift tension in an area that has for years been overshadowed by hostility between the United States and North Korea.
Whereas troops and naval ships from Russia and China have taken half in joint conflict games earlier than, they haven’t, according to Russia’s Ministry of Defence, performed such air patrols within the Asia-Pacific region together until Tuesday.
“The joint patrol was carried out to deepen Russian-Chinese relations inside our all-encompassing partnership, of additional growing cooperation between our armed forces, and of perfecting their capabilities to hold out joint actions, and of strengthening international strategic security,” the ministry said in a statement.
Seoul and Tokyo, whom each scrambled jets to intercept the Russo-Chinese mission, accused Russia and China of violating their airspaces, an allegation Moscow and Beijing denied.
South Korean warplanes fired lots of warning pictures towards the Russian A-50 military aircraft, defense officials in Seoul mentioned, saying it was the first time a Russian army plane had violated South Korean airspace.
Moscow denied all of those assertions.