Russian and Chinese military planes conducted joint exercises near Japan on Tuesday, while leaders of the Quad group of countries met in Tokyo, according to Japan’s defence minister, who called it “provocation.”
“Two Chinese bombers joined two Russian bombers in the Sea of Japan and flew together to the East China Sea,” Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters on Tuesday.
According to the defence ministry, the planes did not violate Japanese airspace.
While Tokyo was hosting the leaders of the Quad group of countries – the United States, India, Australia, and Japan – Japan scrambled jets as the warplanes approached its airspace.
The Quad summit brought together US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and Australia’s newly elected leader, Anthony Albanese, in the Japanese capital to counter China’s influence in the Asia Pacific.
The so-called Quad bloc issued a joint statement warning against attempts to “change the status quo by force,” as fears grow that China will invade self-ruled Taiwan.
However, no direct references to Russia or China were made in the joint statement.
Biden enraged China on Monday by saying he would be willing to use force to defend Taiwan, but he later stated that US policy toward the self-ruled democratic island had not changed. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory that should be reunited with the mainland.
South Korea’s military said it scrambled fighter jets after at least four Chinese and four Russian warplanes entered its air defence identification zone (ADIZ), but the planes did not fly into its airspace.
There are no international laws that govern ADIZs, so countries can unilaterally demand that foreign aircraft take special steps to identify themselves.