Russian and Chinese bombers fly joint patrol over Pacific
MOSCOW (AP) - Russian and Chinese bombers flew a joint patrol mission over the western Pacific on Tuesday to demonstrate the ever closer military ties between Moscow and Beijing.
The Russian military said a pair of its Tu-95 strategic bombers and four Chinese H-6K bombers had flown over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the joint mission will "develop and deepen the comprehensive partnership between Russia and China, further improve cooperation between the two armed forces, expand their ability to act together and strengthen strategic stability."
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The ministry added that the patrol flight "was not directed against third countries".
Tuesday's mission was the second such flight since patrolling the same area in July 2019.
It follows the statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin in October that the idea of a future Russian-Chinese military alliance cannot be ruled out - a signal for deepening military cooperation between Moscow and Beijing in the face of growing tensions in their relations with the United States.
Up to this point, Russia and China had welcomed their "strategic partnership" but refused to discuss the possibility of forming a military alliance.
Putin also noted in October that Russia shared highly sensitive military technology with China that has helped significantly strengthen its defense capabilities.
Russia sought to forge closer ties with China as its ties with the West plummeted post Cold War lows due to Moscow's annexation of Ukrainian Crimea, allegations of Russia meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, and other issues.
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