A joint Russian and Chinese flagged naval operation patrolled the waters near the Aleutian Islands of Alaska this past week, according to allegations by the state's two senators and as confirmed by the Department of Defense (DOD). According to defense experts, this is the largest naval deployment of the Russia-China axis off the U.S. coast.
According to a statement issued by Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, 11 ships patrolled near the Aleutian Islands last week. According to information that the legislators were able to verify, the U.S. Navy sent four destroyers along with a maritime surveillance aircraft to track the Russian and Chinese vessels’ movement.
Chinese and Russian navy finished sailing thru Aleutian islands in Alaska. This is becoming a regular event.
Looking forward to Sino-Russian Freedom of Navigation Patrol visiting California next! pic.twitter.com/w4ub4fT4Af
— Carl Zha (@CarlZha) August 6, 2023
The senators' statement claims that the foreign vessels sailed in U.S. waters. However, statements from the Northern Command collected by the Wall Street Journal contradict this and claim that the Russian and Chinese vessels did not enter U.S. waters and sailed along coordinates of international waters.
This is a stark reminder of Alaska’s proximity to both China and Russia, as well as the essential role our state plays in our national defense and territorial sovereignty. 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.
The maritime patrol coincides with a period of tension between the United States and the Eastern Axis. This patrol, which is the strongest and largest to date, according to Brent Sadler, is a consequence of the Biden administration's foreign policy.
U.S. Northern Command has stated that a Naval Flotilla of Ships from the Russian and Chinese Navies was Detected off the Coast of the Aleutian Islands in Southwestern Alaska last week causing at least 4 Arleigh Burke-Class Guided-Missile Destroyers and a number of Surveillance… pic.twitter.com/BAnpkrF4Ry
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) August 7, 2023
The White House recently announced it would issue a new military aid package to the government of Taiwan, which has caused friction with China. The White House also increased its 2024 defense budget to be able to offer Ukraine more aid in its fight against Russia.
Despite this, the Chinese embassy denied that its joint patrols with Russia have any deterrent objective or are aimed at intimidating the United States. "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. This action is not targeted at any third party and has nothing to do with the current international and regional situation," the Chinese Embassy spokeswoman in Washington told the Wall Street Journal.