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Russian and Chinese Efforts to Encircle Japan

Intensifying Russian and Chinese joint military activities around Japan are intended to cow Tokyo into timidity. They are likely to have the opposite effect.

The Russian heavy bomber’s propellers whipped up snow from the runway at the Ukrainka base in Russia’s Far East as it took off to join its Chinese counterparts. This is how the Russian Defense Ministry’s footage of the joint strategic bomber patrol conducted on 19 November begins. Featuring two Russian TU-95MSs (‘Bears’), as well as SU-35S fighters and two Chinese H-6s, the patrol passed from the Sea of Japan into the East China Sea, then flew over the Miyako Strait that bisects Japan’s Ryukyu archipelago. This was the third time Russia and China had conducted a joint bomber patrol close to Japan since 2019.