China, Russia conduct joint reconnaissance flights in Northeast Asia, deepening military partnership: Defense Ministry

By Xu Keyue and Zhang Han Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/24 0:10:17

China and Russia conducted their first joint strategic reconnaissance flights in Northeast Asia on Tuesday and did not enter another country's airspace, a Defense Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday. 

China dispatched two H-6K bombers and Russia dispatched two Tu-95 MS missile carriers. The aircraft adhered to international laws and did not enter a third country's airspace, Wu Qian, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, said on a press conference on Wednesday. 

The joint flights were aimed at deepening and developing a comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Russia in the new era, and further enhancing the joint operation capabilities of the Chinese and Russian militaries, Wu said. 

The operation aimed to jointly safeguard global strategic stability. It was part of the annual cooperation plan between the two countries and did not target third parties, Wu said.

The flights sparked the attention of the media on Tuesday. A South Korean journalist on Tuesday claimed that Chinese military aircraft "invaded" South Korea's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) at Chinese Foreign Ministry's routine press conference. 

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying refuted the journalist's claim, saying that ADIZ is not territorial airspace and countries enjoy the freedom of overflight under international law. 

The journalist said that Chinese military aircraft "invaded" South Korea's ADIZ over the Sea of Japan. South Korea's foreign ministry has summoned the Chinese ambassador to give an explanation, the journalist said.

Hua suggested the journalist should be more prudent in his choice of words as China and South Korea are friendly neighbors.

Echoing Hua, Shanghai-based military analyst Wu Jian told the Global Times that flying over the ADIZ does not violate any laws as the zone is defined by a country based on air defense needs in public airspace outside the country's airspace.

The zone is set for a country's military to detect and identify unidentified flying objects from elsewhere and to decide whether to implement interception operations, Wu said.

A country has no right to take measures such as forced landings or shooting down an aircraft before it enters its airspace, otherwise it would violate international laws, Wu noted.

According to civil aviation regulations, the airspace, referring to air space over the territorial land and sea of a sovereign state, is an integral part of a state's territory. States have absolute sovereignty in airspace over their territory, Paris Convention of 1919 and Convention on International Civil Aviation said.

The conference marked not only Hua's first appearance after she studied at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China for five months, but also her debut after being promoted head of the Foreign Ministry's information department.

"Long time no see," Hua greeted international journalists attending the conference.

The journalists congratulated Hua on her appointment.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

blog comments powered by Disqus