Russian and Chinese warships are believed to have been conducting a joint patrol near the coast of Alaska last week. The Coast Guard was sent to the scene to monitor the movements of the Russian and Chinese ships. A Chinese guided-missile cruiser along with two other Russian naval ships were spotted at the convoy. The ships were not present for long, however, their activities will continue to be monitored.
The first Chinese ship spotted was the guided-missile cruiser Renhai and was about 75 miles north of Kiska Island, at the far western end of the Aleutians in the Bering Sea.
Two other Chinese naval vessels and four Russian navy ships were also part of the joint Chinese-Russian convoy that sailed in a single formation, according to a statement put out Monday by the Coast Guard.
The joint naval operation is the latest sign of growing military cooperation between Beijing and Moscow, even as both face growing tensions with the U.S. and its allies. Both militaries took part in recent large-scale war games in the Russian Far East known as Vostok 2022, which included naval operations near Japan.
“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,” said Rear Adm. Nathan Moore, commander of the Coast Guard district.
While the convoy didn’t break any laws surrounding where the Russian and Chinese ships can sail, the larger story here is that the Russian and Chinese, both countries belonging to BRICS, are forming an alliance strong enough to embark on joint convoys. This comes at a time when Russia is invading Ukraine and China is ramping up efforts to re-take Taiwan. Both of these moves are seen as aggression toward the west and NATO.