Russia and China flew strategic bombers over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. At the same time, President Biden was in Tokyo on Tuesday, their first joint military exercise since the invasion of Ukraine and a pointed signal to the administration as it seeks to solidify regional alliances amid the growing strategic partnership between Moscow and Beijing.
The White House promptly condemned the air exercise. “This … shows that China continues to be willing to closely align itself with Russia, despite the brutality that Russia is committing in Ukraine,” said a senior Biden administration official, who spoke on anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity.
The two countries have conducted joint exercises before, but “this is the most significant form of cooperation by their militaries” since Feb. 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine, the official said.