Chinese, Russian Bombers Hold Joint Exercises Near Japan, Korea
Four Chinese H-6 bombers and two Russian Tu-95 bombers conducted joint flights together on Tuesday around Japan and the Republic of Korea, prompting both countries to scramble fighter aircraft to monitor the flights. Japan Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, in a press conference on Tuesday, stated that the flight was provocative and that Japan had registered its concerns via diplomatic channels. The Joint Staff Office (JSO) of Japan’s Defense Ministry issued a release on Tuesday stating that from morning to afternoon that day two Chinese H-6 bombers flew from the East China Sea to the Sea of Japan, joining two Russian Tu-95 bombers there. The ROK’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) issued a text message to journalists stating that two Chinese and four Russian warplanes entered the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ), but did not violate South Korea’s territorial airspace, reported Yonhap News Agency on Tuesday.
Although the JCS did say what the two other Russian planes were, Russia’s defense ministry said in a press release Tuesday that Russian Su-30SM fighters provided support for the air task force during the joint air patrol. “The Russian Aerospace Force and the Air Force of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army conducted a joint air patrol in the Asia-Pacific region,” Russia’s media statement said. The Russian MOD release also stated that the joint air patrol by the Russian and Chinese strategic bombers was conducted under the 2022 plan of military cooperation and was not aimed against third countries, adding that the flights lasted 13 hours. The Chinese Ministry of National Defense on Tuesday issued a brief statement stating, “According to the annual military cooperation plan between the Chinese and Russian militaries, on May 24, the air forces of the two countries organized routine joint air strategic patrols over the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea and the Western Pacific Ocean”.
Earlier on Monday, the JSO issued two releases on the movements of People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) ships around Japan, the first release stated that on 1 p. On Wednesday the JSO issued two releases stating that all three ships had returned to the East China Sea.
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