Chinese naval presence off Alaskan coast appears to be a first
Five Chinese navy ships are currently operating in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska, Pentagon officials said Wednesday, marking the first time the U.S. military has seen them in the area.
The officials have been tracking the movements in recent days of three Chinese combat ships, a replenishment vessel and an amphibious landing ship after observing them moving toward the Aleutian Islands, which are split between U.S. and Russian control.
“This would be a first in the vicinity of the Aleutian Islands,” one defense official said of the Chinese ships, which have been operating in international waters. “I don’t think we’d characterize anything they’re doing as threatening,” the official said.
A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington couldn’t immediately be reached to comment.
Chinese officials have complained in the past that the U.S. is meddling in their affairs by flying military jets near a chain of islands located in the South China Sea.