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U.S. Bomber Flights Prompt Russia, China to Announce Military Cooperation

Newsweek
Newsweek
 2021-11-23

Russia and China approved of a roadmap on Tuesday that aims to improve the military relationship between the two countries, the Associated Press reported.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chinese Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe met on a video call to discuss the partnership. The two countries "expressed a shared interest in stepping up strategic military exercises and joint patrols," according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

"China and Russia have been strategic partners for many years," Shoigu said. "Today, in conditions of increasing geopolitical turbulence and growing conflict potential in various parts of the world, the development of our interaction is especially relevant."

The announcement comes as the number of U.S. strategic bombers has increased along the borders of Russia and China. Shoigu said the bombers have come as close as 20 kilometers, or 12 miles, to the Russian border over the past month. Meanwhile, similar flights have occurred over the Sea of Okhotsk.

"In such an environment," Shoigu said, "the Russian-Chinese coordination becomes a stabilizing factor in global affairs."

The partnership has been sought by Russian President Vladimir Putin since 2014 after Moscow annexed the Crimea Peninsula. Putin said in 2020 that a military alliance such as this should not be ruled out and that China had helped Russia boost its military.

The roadmap signed by Shoigu and Wei lasts until at least 2025.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

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"This month, during the U.S. Global Thunder strategic force exercise, 10 strategic bombers practiced the scenario of using nuclear weapons against Russia practically simultaneously from the western and eastern directions," Shoigu said.

Wei praised Russia for successfully countering what he described as U.S. pressure and military threats.

Shoigu and Wei hailed a series of maneuvers that involved Russian and Chinese warplanes and naval ships.

On Friday, two Russian Tu-95MS strategic bombers and two Chinese H-6K strategic bombers flew a joint patrol over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea, prompting South Korea to scramble fighter jets.

The bomber patrol followed joint naval maneuvers by Russian and Chinese warships and aircraft in the Sea of Japan last month.

In August, Shoigu visited China to attend joint war games, which marked the first time that Russian troops had taken part in drills on Chinese territory.

They were the latest in a series of war games in recent years, intended to underline increasingly close military relations between Moscow and Beijing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's leader, Xi Jinping , have developed strong personal ties to bolster a "strategic partnership" between the former Communist rivals as they both faced tensions with the West.

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Comments / 28

Adam Stephens
11-25

Are you serious? How on earth can you consider the us to be a destabilizing factor in the world? The us has been trying to lessen its presence in other countries for a while (although sometimes failing to do so effectively). The reason that the us has started applying more military pressure in the west is because as the us tries to pull out russia and china start applying more and more military pressure to neighboring countries.

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Ronnie James
11-24

I been saying that Russia was going to back China in a war as China will back Russia. Let's not leave out North Korea that will join in with them as well. This is why China is going after land they want as Russia is as well an North Korea the same an all 3 are fighting for parts they feel is theirs by right.

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Carol Kidd
11-25

wait a minute, hasn't Russia been doing that to us around Alaska for years. I'm sure everyone knows China wants to rule the world, sorry Russia that you didn't understand that.

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