Chinese, Russian militaries agree to step up surveillance activities around Japan: report

Chinese and Russian military officials have reportedly agreed to step up their surveillance activities to bolster “strategic deterrence against Japan.” Kyodo News reported citing sources familiar with the matter. China and Russia have agreed not to conduct joint surveillance around Japan, for the time being, Kyodo News reported, citing Chinese sources. The decision regarding surveillance around Japan was made during the virtual meeting between senior Chinese and Russian military officials in June.

According to the report, China and Russia are likely to step up their military activities in the waters surrounding the Japanese archipelago, including the East China Sea. Chinese and Russian authorities in the online meeting decided to inform each other in advance when Russian soldiers approach the Senkaku Islands and the Taiwan Strait, Kyodo News reported. Besides, China will also notify Russia in advance if Chinese armed forces approach four Russian-controlled islands.

Japan accuses Russia of illegally occupying four islands – Kunashiri, Etorofu, Shikotan and Habomai – after Tokyo surrendered in World War II. Apparently, these islands are called the Northern Territories by Japan while Russia refers to them as the Southern Kurils.

Chinese navy ship chases Russian warship around Senkaku Islands

Earlier on July 4, a Chinese navy vessel chased a Russian warship outside Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, Kyodo News reported. The Chinese navy ship was spotted in the Japanese-administered region but is also claimed by China. Japan’s Defense Ministry said the Chinese frigate cruised in the contiguous zone for about six minutes on Monday morning. The Chinese navy vessel was chasing a Russian warship after the Russian vessel entered the waters and stayed there for more than an hour, i.e. from 7:05 a.m. to 8:16 a.m. (local time).

It was the first time that Chinese and Russian vessels had been spotted in the area at around the same time since 2016. The report claimed that the movement of Russian and Chinese warships into the contagious zone did not was not a joint move. According to Kyodo News report, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shigeo Yamada in a phone call to Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou expressed “serious concern” over the incident. Additionally, Japan urged Russia to provide an “appropriate response” to the incident.

(Image: AP/@Fumio_Kishida_/Instagram)

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