Russia and China’s first joint bomber patrol got a swift response from Japan and South Korea, but the message was intended for the US (Source Business Insider) On Tuesday, Russian and Chinese nuclear-capable bombers provoked tensions between South Korea and Japan, the US’s most important allies in the Pacific. That Japan and South Korea both scrambled jets to respond to the intrusions was a bonus — what they really wanted was to send a message to the US. Earlier on Tuesday morning, two Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS bombers jets flew over the Sea of Japan and the South China Sea. They were joined by two Chinese H-6K long-range bombers for their first joint air patrol using long-range aircraft in the region, Russian state media reported. Russia flew a Beriev A-50 airborne-early-warning-and-control airplane over the Dokdo Islands in the Sea of Japan, which Japan calls the Takeshima Islands and claims as its own.
The joint patrol near the disputed island was likely a message to the US about the “durability” of its closest alliances in the region,
experts on Russian and Asian security and foreign policy, told INSIDER. The Dokdo Islands are symbolic of the long-simmering hostilities between South Korea and Japan, which overtook the Korean peninsula by force in 1910 and ruled brutally until the end of World War II. The A-50 did not respond to repeated radio warnings from South Korea, making it the first Russian military aircraft to intrude on South Korea’s airspace. The A-50 flew over the disputed territory twice, just after 9:00 a.m. local time, according to Reuters.