As Biden meets his Asian allies, Russia and China mark their relationship with ‘more provocative’ bomber flights.

  • Russian and Chinese bombers conducted another joint operation in Northeast Asia on Tuesday.
  • The flight reflects the strengthening of bilateral military cooperation and ties with the West amid tensions with the West.
  • The joint patrol came as President Joe Biden concluded key talks with his Asian allies.

At least six Russian and Chinese military aircraft conducted joint operations in the East Sea, East China Sea, and the Western Pacific on the 20th.

This joint flight is the first exercise between the two countries since the Russian attack on Ukraine began on February 24, and it is believed to be the first joint bomber flight since the end of 2021.

Shortly after the inauguration of the new president of Korea on May 10 and President Joe Biden’s tour of the region, it was considered a multilateral group that met with the leaders of the Quad as well as the leaders of Japan and Korea. Efforts to counter growing Chinese influence.

“I think the fact that such measures were taken at the 4th summit is more provocative than in the past,” said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. told reporters Tuesday.

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US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanez attend the Quad Leaders Summit in Tokyo on May 24, 2022.

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

South Korean army said he found Two Chinese H-6 bombers entered the air defense identification zone south of the southwestern coast at 7:56 a.m. local time.

The bombers flew toward the Sea of ​​Japan, known as Korea’s East Sea, where they continued flying alongside Russian Tu-95 bombers and fighters from both countries. Seoul said in the afternoon that four Chinese and two Russian military aircraft were spotted over the East China Sea.

Seoul said South Korean fighters had mobilized “to take tactical action” in response, but Russian and Chinese aircraft did not enter South Korean airspace.

Kishi said Two Chinese bombers flew from the East China Sea towards the Sea of ​​Japan, where they joined two Russian aircraft and flew towards the East China Sea. Another pair of Chinese planes later joined Russian bombers and flew towards the Western Pacific. A Russian reconnaissance plane flew south of the Sea of ​​Japan.

Kishi said none of the aircraft entered Japanese airspace, but Tokyo responded with a sortie of fighters and communicated “serious concerns” to Moscow and Beijing through diplomatic channels.

Chinese Ministry of Defense called Joint flight part of “Annual Military Cooperation Plan”. Russian Ministry of Defense said Su-30SM fighters supported Tu-95 and H-6K bombers during the 13-hour patrol, he said.

The flight reflects China-Russia relations, which have heated up dramatically in recent years, including joint military exercises on land, sea and air. Chinese and Russian bombers made similar flights over the same area in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

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Japan’s Ministry of Defense map of Russia and China flying over the East China Sea and the Sea of ​​Japan on May 24, 2022.

Japanese Ministry of Defense

Chinese state media said It said the November 2021 post-flight operation was “to further develop the comprehensive strategic coordination partnership between China and Russia” and was not aimed at “third parties.”

In early February, Russia and China declared in a joint statement issued after the summit between President Vladimir Putin and President Xi Jinping that “friendship” was “unlimited” and there were no “prohibited” areas of cooperation.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday Criticism The West has called Russia a “dictatorship” in its attack on Ukraine and said Russia will focus on expanding its relations with China “faster”. Asked about remarks made by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lavrov said Sino-Russian relations on Tuesday said they “had endured new tests in the changing international environment” and “will not be affected by other countries.”

Most of the exchange of military expertise and hardware from Russia to China was a key feature of bilateral relations. US officials said Moscow requested military assistance from China during the Ukrainian war, but saw no indication that China had provided it.

But the joint bomber flight is still “China’sclosely aligned“A Biden administration official told Reuters on Tuesday.

“China is not moving away from Russia. Instead, this exercise shows that China is prepared to help Russia defend the east while Russia fights in the west,” the official said.

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