During a routine patrol in the Bering Sea and Arctic, US Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf spotted and established contact with Chinese warships, August 30, 2021

Four Chinese warships were recently spotted conducting military operations near Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.
The ships were tracked by US Coast Guard cutters and did not enter US territorial waters.
News of China’s activity near Alaska follows Chinese complaints about US Navy activity in the South China Sea.

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Four Chinese navy vessels were recently spotted operating in waters near Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, the US Coast Guard said in a statement Monday.

The People’s Liberation Army Navy task force, comprising a guided-missile cruiser, a guided-missile destroyer, a general intelligence vessel, and an auxiliary vessel, was conducting military and surveillance operations in the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean.

The Chinese vessels entered the US exclusive economic zone but remained in international waters. The ships were in the EEZ from August 29 to September 1, a Coast Guard official told Insider Monday evening.

US Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf shadowing Chinese navy ships in international waters in the US exclusive economic zone, August 30, 2021.

The closest the vessels came to US territory was when they sailed within about 46 miles of one of the Aleutian Islands. (Territorial waters extend 12 miles from the coast; the EEZ extends roughly 230 miles.)

The four Chinese warships were shadowed and monitored by the US Coast Guard cutters Bertholf and Kimball and are visible in Coast Guard images. The crew of the Bertholf made radio contact with the the Chinese ships, and the service said all interactions were consistent with international standards.

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“Security in the Bering Sea and the Arctic is homeland security,” Coast Guard Pacific Area commander Vice Adm. Michael McAllister said in a statement, adding that “the US Coast Guard is continuously present in this important region to uphold American interests and protect US economic prosperity.”

In a report published Monday, state-affiliated tabloid Global Times cited Chinese analysts as saying the activity could be seen as a “countermeasure against US military provocations on China’s doorsteps in the name of freedom of navigation.”

Sensitive waters

Last week, the USS Carl Vinson, the first aircraft carrier to deploy with F-35C stealth fighters, sailed into the South China Sea. The destroyer USS Benfold also conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation in the Spratly Islands, contested territories claimed by China.

China frequently protests foreign naval operations in those waters, and Chinese media characterized those activities as a “provocative deployment,” and the Chinese military accused the US of trespassing and violating its sovereignty.

The US Navy’s 7th Fleet said US forces would “continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows” and that “nothing” China “says otherwise will deter us.”

-Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) September 8, 2021

News of Chinese naval activity near Alaska follows a call by Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the state-affiliated Global Times, for Chinese warships …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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