Japan Conducted Close-in Recon During 1st Sino-Russian Joint Sea Patrol: China

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:09 AM, October 25, 2021
  • 1810
Japan Conducted Close-in Recon During 1st Sino-Russian Joint Sea Patrol: China
Ships of the Russian and Chinese navies during Joint Sea 2021 exercise in October 2021 @Russia MoD

China has claimed that Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) sent aircraft and vessels to follow Chinese-Russian naval flotilla and gather intelligence during their first ever joint sea patrol held over the past week.

The China-Russia joint warship flotilla featuring 10 warships and six carrier-based helicopters carried out the first joint maritime patrol between the two countries' navies in the Sea of Japan, the West Pacific and the East China Sea from October 17 to Saturday, during which they organized exercises over joint sea-crossing, joint maneuvers and live-fire weapon shooting, the Chinese Defense Ministry said.

The seven-day patrol saw the warships circumnavigate Japan by traversing the Sea of Japan, the West Pacific and the East China Sea, transiting several strategically important straits.

During the patrol, "the Chinese and Russian warships faced some external challenges, but we tackled these challenges together well," Senior Colonel Chen Weigong, the political commissar of China's Type 055 large destroyer Nanchang, the command ship of the joint flotilla, was quoted by state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) on Saturday.

The Japanese Defense Ministry published the movements of the Chinese warships since they transited the Tsushima Strait into the Sea of Japan on October 11 for the Joint Sea-2021 exercises with Russia from October 14 to 17.

According to the Japanese releases, which said that Japan had dispatched aircraft and vessels for monitoring, the Chinese and Russian warships transited the Tsugaru Strait from the Sea of Japan into the West Pacific on October 18, were then seen heading south along the east of Japan on Wednesday and sailing to the west through islands to the south of Japan's main island on Thursday, and transited the Osumi Strait into the East China Sea on Friday.

“It is anticipated that Japan would track and monitor foreign warship and warplane activities near it, so the flotilla is allowing Japan to see it, which shows its confidence, while also practicing dealing with Japanese tracking and monitoring at the same time,” Shi Hong, executive chief editor of the Chinese magazine Shipborne Weapons, was quoted as saying by semi-official Global Times.

The warships that participated in the patrol involved the Type 055 guided missile destroyer Nanchang, the Type 052D guided missile destroyer Kunming, the Type 054A guided missile frigates Binzhou and Liuzhou and the Type 903A comprehensive supply ship Dongpinghu from China, and the large anti-submarine ships Admiral Panteleev and Admiral Tributs, the instrumentation ship Marshal Krylov, and the corvettes of the project 20380 Hero of the Russian Federation Aldar Tsydenzhapov and Gromkiy from Russia, CCTV reported.

At the end of the patrol, the two countries' warships separated in the eastern part of the East China Sea, and the Chinese ships returned to their home ports.

The Chinese and Russian warships circumnavigated Japan, which sends a warning to Japan as well as the U.S., which have been rallying allies to confront China and Russia, destabilizing the region, observers said.

"In the future, joint air and naval patrols between China and Russia will become increasingly common,” Chinese military expert Song Zhongping predicted. Air-sea joint patrols will follow, which demonstrates a deeper China-Russia friendship and improved China-Russia joint operation capacity, as well as stronger actual combat capacity.

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