(Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul Kelly/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)
OAN’s Roy Francis
11:38 AM – Monday, August 7, 2023
The United States Navy has sent four warships and a reconnaissance airplane since its discovery that the Russian and Chinese navies conducted a joint naval patrol near Alaska last week.
🚨Update: Pacific Theater – A joint Russian and Chinese naval force is conducting a patrol off the coast of Alaska, in international waters!!
Eleven Chinese and Russian warships came close to the Aleutian Islands, but just short of entered U.S. territorial waters according to… pic.twitter.com/oK7OcIdzBK
— US Civil Defense News (@CaptCoronado) August 7, 2023
According to experts who spoke with The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the combined naval patrol by Russia and China is the largest patrol of its kind to ever approach American territory.
Brent Sadler, a retired Navy captain and senior researcher at the Heritage Foundation, said that the actions by the Russians and Chinese were a “historical first.”
He also explained that due to the war in Ukraine, and the high tensions between the U.S. and China, such actions are “highly provocative.”
The United States Northern Command released a statement in which they confirmed the naval patrol and that maritime assets “conducted operations” to maintain the security of the U.S. and Canada.
“Air and maritime assets under our commands conducted operations to assure the defense of the United States and Canada. The patrol remained in international waters and was not considered a threat.”
Even though the command did not specify the number of Chinese and Russia vessels that were in the area, or the exact location of where the patrol happened, senators in Alaska confirmed that the patrol consisted of 11 total vessels. They also confirmed that the patrol had taken place near the Aleutian Islands.
However, the spokesperson for the Chinese embassy, Liu Pengyu, said that the Chinese and Russian navies had “conducted joint maritime patrols in relevant waters” and the patrols were not “targeted” at anyone in particular.
“According to the annual cooperation plan between the Chinese and Russian militaries, naval vessels of the two countries have recently conducted joint maritime patrols in relevant waters in the western and northern Pacific ocean,” Pengyu said. “This action is not targeted at any third party and has nothing to do with the current international and regional situation.”
Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) said that the latest operation by the Chinese and Russians are “yet another reminder” of the new era of “authoritarian aggression” from the two nations.
“The incursion by 11 Chinese and Russian warships operating together – off the coast of Alaska – is yet another reminder that we have entered a new era of authoritarian aggression led by the dictators in Beijing and Moscow,” Sullivan said.
He also compared the recent patrol to an incident during the summer of 2022, when seven Chinese and Russian ships conducted similar patrols in the area.
“Last summer the Chinese and Russian navies conducted a similar operation off the coast of Alaska,” Sullivan said. “Given that our response was tepid, I strongly encouraged senior military leaders to be ready with a much more robust response should such another joint Chinese-Russian naval operation occur off our coast. For that reason, I was heartened to see that this latest incursion was met with four US Navy destroyers, which sends a strong message … that the United States will not hesitate to protect and defend our vital national interests in Alaska.”
According to U.S. intelligence reported, Russia and China’s camaraderie and allied relationship have grown significantly since the conflict in Ukraine began in 2022.
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