On May 24, Tu-95MS and Khun-6K strategic bombers of Russia and China conducted a 13-hour joint air patrol over the Japan and East China Seas. The flight took place according to the plan of combat interaction between the Russian Federation and China for 2022. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the event was planned, not directed against third countries, and was held strictly in accordance with the provisions of international law. There were no violations of the airspace of foreign states.
But in Tokyo, Washington, and even in Seoul, they were very scared. F-2 aircraft of the South Korean Air Force and F-15 of the Japanese Air Force were sent to escort the Russian-Chinese air flotilla. The Japanese Foreign Ministry sent a “sharp protest” to Russia. And on May 25, the Japanese and Americans urgently organized joint exercises of fighters of the two countries over the Sea of Japan in order to show that they were not born with a bad eye and were also friends in the military line. Four US Air Force F-16 fighters and four F-15 fighters of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force took part in their air games. Not much.
In a diplomatic demarche, the Japanese drew attention to the fact that this is the first joint flight of Russian and Chinese “strategists” since 2019. It turns out that the PRC, in spite of everything, supports Russia’s special operation in Ukraine and is not going to refuse military cooperation with the “aggressor”?
This question was answered in the American newspaper International Business Times by an unnamed source of the US presidential administration, according to which the patrol demonstrated “the depth of mutual understanding between the two countries.” “We think this shows that China is still ready to work closely with Russia, including in matters of military cooperation. China is not turning its back on Russia. Moreover, such exercises show China’s willingness to help Russia defend its eastern borders, while Russia itself is fighting in the western ones, ”said a US administration official. He also drew attention to the fact that this is a “US signal”, because the flight took place just during the President’s Asian tour. Bidenwhen he was visiting Japan.
There, he seemingly inadvertently promised to provide military support to Taiwan in the event of an invasion by the Chinese army. Although he swore allegiance to the principle of “one China” and the three communiqués that define China-US relations. The Chinese Foreign Ministry reacted rather restrainedly, recommending that Biden choose expressions. The American State Department immediately corrected itself: this is not about direct military participation, but about the supply of self-defense weapons to Taiwan.
So joint air patrols in the Japanese and East China Seas also concerned Taiwan. Indirectly, Russia also supported China in its dispute over the island province.
Summing up this military-diplomatic skirmish in the Far East, the Russian Foreign Ministry drew attention to the fact that the Japanese ruling circles, apparently, completely forgot about the barbaric nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were carried out by their alleged allies.
On May 19, speaking at an online meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the PRC also sent another signal to the West Wang Yi. “China hopes that Russia and Ukraine will overcome the difficulties and continue peace talks, and support this. Beijing also calls on NATO and the EU to engage in a comprehensive dialogue with Russia,” Wang Yi said. The Chinese minister also added that the BRICS countries, in turn, should adhere to the principles of independence, objectivity and justice on the Ukrainian issue, advocate for peace and make efforts to achieve it. . The meeting also discussed the serious expansion of the BRICS. Obvious diplomatic support for Russia, which once again showed that China is true to the line of strategic partnership with Russia.
As for economic cooperation with our country, China is trying to develop it, despite the possible damage from Western sanctions. There are problems with Chinese global companies that operate in the Russian market. They are afraid of falling under secondary sanctions. We cannot count on them to kill their business out of love for Russia. But still, the supply of Chinese equipment and goods goes through new channels.
The trade turnover between our countries in the first four months of 2022 increased by almost 26%. Russia is actively reorienting its energy supplies from the West to the East. China buys as much oil and gas from Russia as we can ship. The Chinese are trying to overcome logistical difficulties in order to sell more and buy more in Russia.
But the situation is this. China produces half of the world’s industrial output. It leads in many areas, including pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and produces the world’s largest automobile and electric vehicles. Not to mention consumer goods. It depends on Russian government agencies and businesses how quickly we can come up with and offer Chinese companies to organize supplies of everything they need to circumvent sanctions. If desired, we can find suppliers in China that will replace Western goods and equipment necessary for the development of the Russian economy.