Russia-China eyes on Japan

Strasbourg 07.07.2022 Chinese and Russian military officials are likely to have agreed to strengthen their surveillance activities to boost “strategic deterrence against Japan,” sources close to the matter said Thursday, reflecting Beijing and Moscow’s relations with Tokyo deteriorating recently.

However China and Russia have also decided not to carry out joint surveillance around Japan for the time being, the Chinese sources explained, adding that such agreements were concluded during an online meeting in June between senior military officials of the two countries.

Beijing and Moscow are expected to increase military activities in waters surrounding the Japanese archipelago, including the East China Sea, as they have been at odds with Tokyo over Taiwan which China regards as a renegade province to be reunified, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, foreign affairs experts said.

On Monday, a Chinese naval ship chased a Russian warship just outside Japanese territorial waters around the Japan-controlled, China-claimed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

A Chinese frigate sailed in the so-called contiguous zone of the uninhabited islands, which Beijing calls Diaoyu, for about six minutes from 7:44 A.M., chasing a Russian frigate after the nation’s ship entered the waters, Japan’s Defense Ministry said.

It was the first time since June 2016 that Chinese and Russian naval vessels had been spotted entering the contiguous zone at around the same time.

Over the years, Japan has lodged protests with China over repeated intrusions by Chinese coast guard ships into Japanese waters around the Senkakus.

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