Concerns are mounting that a recent joint patrol of Chinese and Russian naval ships off the coast of Alaska, which prompted a swift U.S. military response, may be the first of many more to come.
The joint exercise, which consisted of 11 warships, traversed more than 2,300 nautical miles, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Senior Col. Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for the Chinese Defense Ministry, underscored the endeavor’s objective as a manifestation of “mutual trust between the two countries” and an enhancement of the longstanding bond between Chinese and Russian militaries.
The concern was palpable on the U.S. side, with Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) labeling the exercise as marking “a new era of authoritarian aggression.”
Both Sullivan and fellow Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski were briefed on the matter and shared concerns regarding America’s preparedness against such emerging threats.
This sentiment was further cemented by a Chinese military analyst, Fu Qianshao, who hinted at the possibility of similar patrols in the future.
Speaking to the Global Times, Qianshao said, “In the future, the Chinese Navy could conduct more far sea patrols like this, either alone or together with other countries. The Americans should get [used] to it.”
The recent naval incident has been seen as a clear indicator of China’s intent to challenge the U.S.’s strategic dominance in the Pacific, a position America has held since World War II.
The Chinese government has claimed neutrality in the recent patrolling incident near Alaska. Chinese Embassy’s spokesman, Liu Pengyu, clarified that the exercise was “not targeted at any third party” and was unrelated to current global and regional dynamics.
This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.