Russian and Chinese warships conducted their first ever joint patrols in the western Pacific Ocean over the past week, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday, a move Japan said it was monitoring.
Moscow and Beijing, which held drill naval cooperation in the Sea of Japan in early October, have cultivated closer military and diplomatic ties in recent years at a time when their relations with the West have deteriorated.
“The group of ships passed through the Tsugaru Strait for the first time as part of the patrol,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. The strait is considered international waters.
“The tasks of the patrols were the demonstration of the state flags of Russia and China, the maintenance of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the protection of the subjects of the maritime economic activities of the two countries,” he added the ministry.
China’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday October 24 that the joint exercise aims to “further develop the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era, enhance the joint action capabilities of both sides, and jointly maintain international and regional strategic stability. “.
A report on the ministry’s website said the operation was part of the annual cooperation between the two nations and was not aimed at third parties.