TSUGARU STRAIT — A joint naval exercise between China and Russia has completed a near full circle of Japan, reinforcing tensions in the region, according to CNN.
The Chinese warships included a Type 055 destroyer[h], a Type 052D destroyer[i] and two Type 054A frigates[j], while the Russian ships included two Udaloy class destroyers, two Steregushchiy class corvettes and a Marshal Nedelin class ship, according to The Drive.
The exercises have brought the charge of hypocrisy because China regularly condemns similar exercises by the U.S. in the Taiwan Strait as destabilizing.
Two weeks ago, for instance, the Chinese military's Eastern Theater Command suggested a U.S. and Canadian transit could ‘seriously jeopardize peace and stability’ in the strait, according to CNN.
Both those ships and now the Chinese and Russian vessels remained in international waters, but notably the Chinese and Russian ships took a route through the Tsugaru Strait, which is only around 12 miles wide at its narrowest point.
That places them well within the area that can be claimed by a country under international law, albeit Japan only actually claims areas three miles from either shore.