China says Russia joint air patrols did not enter territorial airspace

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China’s defense ministry said on Wednesday that China and Russia carried out joint air patrols on July 23 but did not enter territorial air space of any other country.

South Korea and Japan earlier identified two Chinese H-6 bombers and two Russian TU-95 bombers flying in air space over

Japan’s military scrambled a fighter jet to intercept the patrols while South Korea said it fired warning shots at a Russian aircraft.

Meanwhile, Japan’s top government spokesman said on Wednesday the country’s relationship with South Korea was in a “very severe” state and that Tokyo would continue to urge Seoul to take appropriate action over a string of issues that have frayed bilateral ties.

Japan on Tuesday lodged a protest against South Korea and Russia after South Korean warplanes fired hundreds of warning shots at a Russian military aircraft on Tuesday.

Japan and South Korea are also at loggerheads over export curbs that Japan has placed on certain high-tech materials bound for South Korea.

“Japan-South Korea relations are now in a very severe state,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference. “Our country will continue to urge South Korea to take appropriate action based on our consistent stance over various issues.”

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