In a bold display of cooperation, China and Russia conducted a joint naval operation near the coast of Alaska last week, prompting a significant response from the United States Navy. The joint task force, consisting of 11 ships, raised concerns about the intentions of the two American adversaries, prompting U.S. officials to take action.
According to Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), who was briefed by U.S. defense officials, the military vessels approached Alaska’s southwestern coast, a development that raised alarm bells among American authorities. In response, the U.S. Navy swiftly mobilized four destroyers to “guide” the Chinese and Russian ships away from American territorial waters.
“This is unprecedented in terms of the size and scope of this joint naval task force between Russia and China, working very closely together,” Senator Sullivan stated. “It just solidifies this idea that we’ve entered a new era of authoritarian aggression led by the dictators in Beijing and Moscow, who are increasingly aggressive.”
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the joint Chinese and Russian operation, confirming that the ships came close to the Aleutian Islands but did not breach U.S. territorial waters. To bolster their response, the U.S. also deployed P-8 Poseidon aircraft to monitor the movement of the foreign naval task force and ensure their withdrawal from the region.
This show of force by the U.S. Navy marks a considerable improvement compared to a previous incident in September of the previous year when only a single Coast Guard cutter was dispatched to deal with a smaller-scale Chinese and Russian presence in the same area. Senator Sullivan emphasized the need for continued reinforcement of naval, Coast Guard, and Marine assets in the region, urging the Biden administration to prioritize robust defense budgets.
🚨China, Russia Send 11 Naval Warships Off SW Coast of Alaska, Triggering US Response https://t.co/Ql6x2F9viW— RoamingRN (@roaming_rn) August 6, 2023
“It’s a lot of naval power up here demonstrating American resolve,” Senator Sullivan asserted.
Despite the absence of an official statement from the White House or the Pentagon, Brent Sadler, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, recognized the significance of the joint naval operation, especially given the context of ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and tensions around Taiwan.
“Given the context of the war in Ukraine and tensions around Taiwan, this move is highly provocative,” Sadler commented.
The recent incident highlights the growing assertiveness of China and Russia on the international stage and underscores the importance of maintaining a strong and vigilant U.S. military presence in the region to deter potential threats to American interests. As global tensions continue to evolve, the U.S. government is likely to face increasing pressure to enhance its defense capabilities and safeguard its territorial waters.