Russian and Chinese bombers flew another joint patrol over the Pacific
- On Wednesday, a joint patrol was conducted by Chinese and Russian strategic bombers over the Western Pacific.
- As a sign their growing defense ties, the countries have been conducting several similar patrols in recent years.
- During this patrol, the Russian bombers landed in China and the Chinese bombers flew to a Russian base.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian and Chinese strategic bombers on Wednesday flew a joint patrol over the western Pacific in a show of increasingly close defense ties between the two countries.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry the Tu-95 Bombers of the Russian Air Force and the Chinese H-6K Bombers flew over the Sea of Japan during an eight-hour mission.
The drills saw the Russian bombers landing in China for the first time, while the Chinese bombers flew to a Russian air base. It stated that the joint patrols were not directed at any other country.
According to the Russian state outlet, the ministry stated that “For the first-time in the history of aerial surveillance, a Russian aircraft landed on an airfield in China and Chinese planes touched down at an airfield on Russian Federation territory.” Tass.
China’s Defense Ministry described Wednesday’s patrols as part of an annual cooperation plan. Chinese and Russian bombers were involved joint patrols in the same area in 2019, 2020, 2021, and in May this yearAs President Joe Biden met with Japanese leaders of the Quad (a multilateral grouping viewed as an attempt to counter China’s growing influence),
The drill is the latest in a series of joint drills designed to demonstrate a growing military cooperation among Moscow and Beijing in light of tensions between them.
Beijing sent more then 2,000 troops to Russia in September along with more 300 military vehicles, 21 combat planes, and three warships. They were participating in a large-scale joint exercise with Russia. These maneuvers were the first time China had sent forces from all three branches of its military to Russia for a single drill. It was described as a demonstration of the depth and breadth of China-Russian military cooperation and mutual trust.
Since the February 24th invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops, defense cooperation between Moscow-China has been stronger.
China, which has declared a friendship “without limits” with Russia, has refused to criticize Moscow’s actions, blaming NATO and the U.S.A for provoking the Kremlin and blasting the harsh sanctions imposed on Russia.
Russia has supported China in the face of tensions with the US, which followed Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
Washington warned Beijing not to offer Russia direct military or economic aid, even though China is the largest customer for Russian oil. Moscow offered discounts to Chinese importers, resulting in more than doubled purchases.
Tuesday’s letter from Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, stated that Beijing is ready to “forge closer partnerships” with Russia in energy and potentially expand ties.
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