Russian and Chinese strategic Nuclear bombers encircled Japan and flew over the Sea of Japan as Joe Biden attended a Quad summit in Tokyo, in a joint exercise the Japanese government denounced as “unacceptable”.
The nuclear-capable bombers conducted a joint flight on Tuesday that began over the Sea of Japan as the US president was meeting his counterparts from Japan, Australia and India, Japanese and US officials said.
Moscow said the 13-hour flight was carried out “strictly in accordance with the provisions of international law” and was not directed against third countries. But Nobuo Kishi, Japan’s defence minister, condemned the exercise as “provocative” and “unacceptable”.
A US official said the exercise showed China was continuing military co-operation with Russia in the Indo-Pacific “even as Russia brutalises Ukraine”.
“It also shows that Russia will stand with China in the East and South China Seas, not with other Indo-Pacific states,” the official said.
Russia and China conducted joint nuclear bomber exercises over the Sea of Japan in 2019, 2020 and 2021, but Tuesday’s flight was the first time such a manoeuvre occurred with a US president in the region.
The exercises were held on the final day of Biden’s trip to Asia as he participated in a summit of the Quad — the security group of the US, Japan, Australia and India that China has criticised as an Asian “Nato”.