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US Coast Guard Discovers 3 Chinese & 4 Russian Military Vessels Operating In Formation Off US Alaska Shore

Earlier this month, The Coast Guard discovered a group of Russian and Chinese warships operating north of one of Alaska’s Bering Sea islands...

The cutter USS Kimball first identified the Chinese guided-missile cruiser Renhai CG 10, 75 nautical miles north of the remote Kiska Island, according to a news release from the Coast Guard. The Kimball’s crew later observed a formation of seven vessels.

Four of the foreign ships were identified as Russian, including a navy destroyer, and three belonged to China, the news release stated.

In response to the joint Russian-Chinese naval presence north of the Aleutian Island of Kiska, the Coast Guard is pledging to monitor and meet the vessels of nations it called “strategic competitors.”

The Kimball crew is now operating under Operation Frontier Sentinel, a Seventeenth Coast Guard District operation designed to meet presence with presence when strategic competitors operate in and around U.S. waters,” the news release stated. The first vessel was spotted on Sept. 19.

A Coast Guard C-130 Hercules proceeded to assist the Kimball in its own response to the Russian and Chinese naval patrol, according to the news release, which was published Monday.

The Coast Guard did clarify that the Russian and Chinese ships followed the international rules of the sea.

“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 Adm. Nathan Moore said in the news release.

The Russian and Chinese ships were well outside of American territorial waters, which extend 12 nautical miles away from American shores.

However, the ships entered the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone, which covers 200 nautical miles away from the American coasts.

This isn’t the first time that Russia has sent military vessels in the vicinity of American waters. A Russian fleet practiced sinking an aircraft carrier 35 miles off of the coast of Hawaii last year. China also threatened to stage naval exercises near American territories last year.

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China and Russia outwardly maintain strategic ties, but there are some indications that China is uneasy with the invasion of Ukraine. China’s foreign minister called for respecting the territorial integrity of Ukraine in a carefully worded United Nations statement earlier this month.

According to The New York Times, Russian President Vladimir Putin even admitted that Chinese President Xi Jinping had “concerns” over his plans in Ukraine, speaking at a meeting between the two leaders earlier this month. ✪


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