“This is a stark reminder of Alaska’s proximity to both China and Russia ...”
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in a statement after 11 foreign military vessels from China and Russia were found operating off the coast of Alaska near the Aleutian Islands.
aug 8, 2023
What to Know: Russian and Chinese naval forces joined together last week in a patrol near the Alaskan coast. With 11 Russian and Chinese ships just outside of U.S. territorial waters, it appeared to be the largest fleet of ships of its kind to approach U.S. shores. The U.S. responded by shadowing the fleet with four U.S. destroyers and P-8 Poseidon aircraft. A spokesperson for the U.S. Northern Command confirmed Russia and China’s presence without providing specific details; the spokesperson said, “The patrol remained in international waters and was not considered a threat.”
China's Response: "This action is not targeted at any third party and has nothing to do with the current international and regional situation,” Chinese Embassy spokesman, Liu Pengyu, said.
Big Picture: “It is a historical first. Given the context of the war in Ukraine and tensions around Taiwan, this move is highly provocative,” said Brent Sadler, a retired Navy captain and senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.