China: PLA carries out beach-grabbing and landing exercises
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The Japanese government said on Monday the naval operation took place through the Tsugaru Strait. It was the first time officials from Tokyo have confirmed the passage of Chinese and Russian naval vessels through the region, which separates the Sea of Japan from the Pacific.
Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki said: “The government is closely watching Chinese and Russian naval vessels’ activities around Japan like this one with high interest.
“We will continue to do our utmost in our surveillance activity in waters and airspace around Japan.”
A Japanese Defence Ministry spokesperson said there had been no violation of Japanese territorial waters and no international rules were broken by the passage.
The latest incident demonstrates the increased cooperation between the two world superpowers.
China and Russia held drills in the Sea of Japan from October 14-17.
Two Chinese destroyers, a submarine and two corvettes were among the vessels Beijing had sent to take part in the exercise.
The combined force practiced shooting at targets and held air-defence drills involving Russian fighter jets and helicopters, the Russian defence ministry said.
The increased military cooperation follows on from alarming reports that China tested a hypersonic missile.
Beijing reportedly launched a nuclear-capable rocket in July and caught US intelligence by surprise.
The weapon, which can fly five-times the speed of sound, is understood to have flown in low-orbit before missing its target.
Chinese officials denied the incident first reported in the Financial Times and insist it formed part of a routine space check.
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said Washington was monitoring China’s development of advanced weapons system
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He said: “We watch closely China’s development of armament and advanced capabilities and systems that will only increase tensions in the region.”
The US has risked stoking further tensions with both China and Russia by snubbing a major summit organised by Moscow this week.
Russia is hosting talks on Wednesday with officials from the Taliban, China and Pakistan over Afghanistan, but US officials will not attend due to logistical problems.
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said: “We will not participate in the Moscow talks.
“The Troika-plus has been an effective, a constructive forum. We look forward to engaging in that forum going forward, but we’re not in a position to take part this week.
“It has been effective in the past, it’s just logistically difficult for us to take part this week.”
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