AmericasAsia PacificSea

US Dispatches Warships After Chinese, Russian Vessels Patrol Near Alaska

The US Navy deployed four destroyers after detecting Chinese and Russian vessels conducting joint patrols off the coast of Alaska.

Alaska Republican Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski revealed in a statement that at least 11 Russian and Chinese ships sailed close to the Aleutian Islands in the northern US last week.

This prompted the US military to deploy four destroyers and a P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to shadow the vessels.

Murkowski explained that the incident served as a “stark reminder” of Alaska’s proximity to both Beijing and Moscow.

“Incursions like this are why we are working so hard to secure funding and resources to expand our military’s capacity and capabilities in Alaska, and why our colleagues must join us in supporting those investments,” she said.

Despite patrolling near Alaska, the North American Aerospace Defense Command clarified that the foreign vessels stayed in international waters and did not pose a direct threat to the US or Canada.

China Response

When asked for comment, Chinese Embassy spokesperson Liu Pengyu told CNN that the joint patrols were held in accordance with the annual cooperation plan between the Chinese and Russian militaries.

He said that they conducted patrols in “relevant waters in the western and northern Pacific Ocean.”

Liu also stated that such an action was not meant to target any adversary and had nothing to do with the current international situation.

Meanwhile, retired US Navy captain Brent Sadler took notice of the timing of the incursions given the context of the war in Ukraine and the increasing tensions around Taiwan.

“This move is highly provocative,” he said.

Not the First

Sullivan explained that the incident was similar to one last summer when Chinese and Russian vessels also came close to Alaska.

The ships were only encountered by a US Coast Guard ship.

The senator described the response as “tepid,” prompting him to press fellow leaders to be ready with a more robust response in the future.

“For that reason, I was heartened to see that this latest incursion was met with four US Navy destroyers, which sends a strong message to (Chinese President) Xi Jinping and (Russian President) Vladimir Putin that the US will not hesitate to protect and defend our vital national interests in Alaska,” he said.

Related Articles

Back to top button