Four of the Chinese H-6K bombers and two Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers flew over the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan, the Russian military confirmed. The Russian Defense Ministry announced that the move was an attempt to improve relations between Moscow and Beijing.
The ministry added that the patrol flight “was not directed against any third country”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in October he would not rule out a Beijing-Moscow military partnership.
Prior to Mr. Putin’s statement regarding a potential alliance, the two countries had refused to discuss the possibility of joining forces in the military field.
The news came after the South Korean military revealed it had deployed a team of fighter jets after four Chinese-flagged planes and 15 Russian-flagged planes broke into its air defense identification. Zone (KAIDZ).
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) announced that the Air Force has been deployed with tactical measures to combat foreign jets.
The JCS said it believed China and Russia were conducting a joint military training exercise and added that it would look into the matter.
Just 18 months ago, South Korean fighter jets opened warning shots on a similar joint patrol after the deployment of Russian and Chinese planes.
Jets from Japan cooperated with Seoul and accused Russia and China of staging an incursion into its airspace.
Moscow and Beijing have denied such accusations, leading to a diplomatic row between South Korean and Russian officials.