(DCWatchdog.com) – Putin’s Russia and Communist China have engaged in a seeming provocation against the United States by sending a joint naval patrol to the coast of Alaska and forcing the US military to react, according to reports.
Last week, several Russian and Chinese military vessels operated close to Alaska in “a show of force that prompted a US military response,” CNN reports, quoting a US Northern Command spokesperson.
The official said the Russian-Chinese move didn’t pose a military threat to the US or Canada and remained in international waters.
However, NORTHCOM and the North American Aerospace Defense Command sent warplanes and warships to monitor the enemy vessels.
In a statement issued over the weekend, Alaska’s US Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski, both Republicans, announced that an armada of 11 Russian and Chinese warships conducted operations close to the Aleutian Islands.
They revealed further that four destroyers of the US Navy met the Russian and Chinese naval groups.
“[We have been in] close contact with leadership from Alaska Command for several days now and received detailed classified briefings about the foreign vessels that are transiting US waters in the Aleutians,” Murkowski said.
A Chinese representative commented the naval operations were part of an annual collaboration with the Russians.
“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,” said Liu Pengyu, spokesman of the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC.
“This action is not targeted at any third party and has nothing to do with the current international and regional situation,” he added.
US Senator Dan Sullivan recalled that Chinese and Russian warships also approached Alaska last summer and were met with a “tepid” response, a single US Coast Guard ship on a routine patrol.
This experience led him to pressure senior US military leaders for a stronger response in similar future encounters.
“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 leader] Xi Jinping and [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin that the United States will not hesitate to protect and defend our vital national interests in Alaska,” the Republican US senator stated.