Russian and Chinese ships sent a signal to Japan off the disputed islands

Chinese media saw Moscow's “warning” against Tokyo

Chinese and Russian warships approached the islands that China and Japan dispute among themselves, and Russia “sends a warning” to Tokyo on against the background of anti-Russian sanctions, which the Land of the Rising Sun actively joined due to the Ukrainian conflict.


Japan's Defense Ministry said on Monday that Chinese and Russian warships had been sighted near the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea at almost the same time earlier in the day.

As the Beijing-based Global Times notes, Chinese and Russian vessels have the right, albeit differently, to freely navigate in China's contiguous Diaoyu Islands, experts said, saying the Russian Navy's recent military activity in the western Pacific serves as a warning to Tokyo amid Japanese sanctions against Russia due to the Ukrainian crisis.

The Russian frigate entered the adjacent area of ​​the Diaoyu Islands from 7:05 am to 8:16 am Monday, while the Chinese frigate stayed in the same area for about six minutes from 7:44 am, Kyodo News reported on Monday, citing the Japanese Ministry of Defense.

According to a press release from the Japanese Ministry of Defense, the Chinese frigate involved is a Type 053H3 frigate equipped with YJ-83 anti-ship missiles, HHQ-7 anti-aircraft missiles and 37mm guns.

Zhao Lijian, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a regular press conference on Monday that the Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islands are China's inalienable territories. According to him, the maritime activity of Chinese ships in the waters off the islands is completely legal, and Japan has no right to make irresponsible accusations.

Tian Shichen, founder of the Institute of Global Management and director of the International Center for the Law of Military Operations, told the Global Times on Monday that the contiguous zone overlaps with the exclusive economic zone, which means that foreign warships have the right to freely move to the adjacent zones of any country, as long as they comply with domestic laws established by the coastal country in accordance with international law.

According to the expert, Chinese and Russian warships can freely navigate in the contiguous zone of the Diaoyu Islands, but on different legal grounds, writes Global Times.

The Chinese vessel sailed in the contiguous zone of China, over which China has sovereign rights and jurisdiction, while the Russian vessel sailed freely in this area due to the right to free navigation in any contiguous zone in accordance with international law, Tian Shichen explained.

The patrolling and surveillance of the Diaoyu Islands by Chinese warships is an act of protecting national sovereignty, Zhou Yongsheng, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China University of Foreign Affairs, told the Global Times on Monday.

According to press releases from the Ministry's Joint Headquarters defense of Japan, in June, several Russian warships circled Japan.

Zhou Yongsheng, in his commentary to Global Times, recalled that Russia, which is conducting a military operation against Ukraine, has island disputes with Japan, and actions of the Russian fleet in the Western Pacific are aimed at keeping Tokyo from reckless actions .

According to Chinese analysts, Moscow's recent actions serve as a warning to Japan against the backdrop of Japanese sanctions against the Russian Federation and are aimed at easing Western pressure on Russia due to the Ukrainian crisis.


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