China and Russia will continue strengthening and improving their cooperation as the two states have entered a new era in relations, the Chinese Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.

“China and Russia have entered a new era in relations and the two countries’ military have also entered a new era of cooperation under the strategic leadership of their heads of state”, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said.

The spokesman added that both countries’ military would continue to support each other and interact through high-level exchanges, strategic cooperation, military technology development and counterterrorism efforts in order to support the global balance of security and stability.

Russian and Chinese military conducted on Tuesday their first joint patrolling drills by long-range aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region.

Following the exercises, South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff claimed earlier that day that a Russian aircraft had illegally crossed into the South Korean airspace twice over the Sea of Japan, an allegation that Moscow has refuted. Both Russia and China responded releasing statements, stressing that the drills were not directed against other countries.

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