Japan’s Ministry of Defense said that a joint flight conducted by Chinese and Russian heavy bombers flew along Japan’s coast on May 24, 2022, as the Quad summit was taking place in Tokyo.
Two Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Xian H-6 bombers flew over the Sea of Japan and were joined by two Tupolev Tu-95s of the Russian Aerospace Forces on the afternoon of May 24, Japanese MoD said in a press release.
The flight then proceeded over the East China Sea. A few hours later, the Tu-95s returned on the same route, this time followed by two different H-6s. Meanwhile, a Russian Il-20M reconnaissance aircraft was flying over the Sea of Japan.
Fighter jets of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force were scrambled to monitor the bombers, the service said. No Chinese or Russian aircraft has entered Japan’s airspace.
The flight coincided with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue summit, colloquially known as Quad, where the leaders of the US, India, Japan and Australia participated in a meeting. Taking place in Tokyo, it was the fourth Quad gathering in less than two years, with the leaders discussing the political and security situation in the Indo-Pacific.
China has been a vocal opponent of the Quad meetings, calling them “the Asian NATO”, as relations between China and the four Quad members have deteriorated over the years.