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116 views • September 27, 2022

Chinese Guided Missile Cruiser, Russian Warships Spotted Near Alaska

NTD News
NTD News
U.S. military officials said Monday that a Chinese missile cruiser, two other Chinese navy ships, and four Russian naval vessels were spotted near the coast of Alaska. The Chinese missile cruiser was seen about 85 miles north of Alaska's Kiska Island on Sept. 19, according to the U.S. Coast Guard in a statement. “While the formation has operated in accordance with international rules and norms, we will meet presence-with-presence to ensure there are no disruptions to U.S. interests in the maritime environment around Alaska," Rear Admiral Nathan Moore, the  Seventeenth Coast Guard District commander, said in a news release. The Coast Guard release said that the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew was on a routine patrol in the Bering Sea and spotted a Chinese Renhai CG 101 missile cruiser near Kiska Island. Later, the crew saw two other Chinese vessels, a Russian navy destroyer, and three other Russian vessels "all in a single formation with the Renhai" and were "operating in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone," according to the press release. After the Russian and Chinese ships were detected, the Coast Guard said the Kimball crew is operating under a new directive—Operation Frontier Sentinel—which it says is "designed to meet presence with presence when strategic competitors operate in and around U.S. waters." NATO Warning The Chinese and Russian formation came a month after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned about China’s interest in the Arctic and Russia’s military buildup there. Stoltenberg said Russia has set up a new Arctic Command and has opened hundreds of new and former Soviet-era Arctic military sites, including deep-water ports and airfields. “Beijing and Moscow have also pledged to intensify practical cooperation in the Arctic. This forms part of a deepening strategic partnership that challenges our values and interests,” Stoltenberg said during a visit to Canada’s north. The Chinese Communist Party, he added, has declared itself a "near-Arctic" state and is plotting to build the world's largest icebreaking ship. This wasn’t the first time Chinese naval ships have sailed near Alaska waters. In September 2021, Coast Guard cutters in the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean encountered Chinese ships, some about 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the Aleutian Islands. The Coast Guard noted that a U.S. C-130 Hercules aircraft provided air support for the Kimball from a Coast Guard station based in Kodiak, Alaska. Meanwhile, the first recorded encounter with Chinese navy vessels near the Bering Sea—a body of water located in the Pacific Ocean—was in 2015 when several ships were spotted in the area. That coincided with former President Barack Obama's trip to Alaska, reports said at the time.
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