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A US coastguard ship spotted a guided Chinese missile cruiser in the Bering Sea, officials have revealed. The vessel was accompanied by other ships as it sailed about 86 miles north of Alaska’s Kiska Island.
Two other Chinese ships were joined by a quartet of Russian warships, including a destroyer.
The ships were spotted by the 418-foot Honolulu-based Kimball vessel as they broke from formation and dispersed.
A C-130 Hercules provided air assistance from the Coast Guard station in Kodiak.
The US Coast Guard disclosed the sighting in a press release on Monday.
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Seventeenth Coast Guard district commander Rear Admiral Nathan Moore said: “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 US interests in the maritime environment around Alaska.”
Operation Frontier Sentinel guidelines call for meeting “presence with presence” at moments when strategic competitors operate in and around American waters.
According to MailOnline, Kimball continued to monitor the area.
However, the Alaskan coast spotting comes just one month after a top NATO official warned Beijing against exerting its interest in the Arctic.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued the warning to China and referred to Russia’s military buildup in the region.
Mr Stoltenberg said Moscow has set up a new Arctic Command and has opened hundreds of new and former Soviet-era Arctic military sites, including deep-water ports and airfields.
He also claimed China has declared itself a “near Arctic” state and plans to build the world’s largest icebreaker.
During a visit to Canada, Mr Stoltenberg said: “Beijing and Moscow have also pledged to intensify practical cooperation in the Arctic.
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“This forms part of a deepening strategic partnership that challenges our values and interests.”
However, Monday’s sighting was not the first occasion Chinese naval ships have sailed near Alaskan waters.
Coast Guard cutters in both the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean encountered Chinese ships some 50miles away from the Aleutian Islands in September 2021.
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