Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) warships traveled within 46 miles of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands last month, according to a statement from the U.S. Coast Guard. Coast Guard ships tailed and observed four Chinese naval vessels in total. The Chinese ships were were operating within the U.S. exclusive economic zone.
According to the Coast Guard, the contingent of Chinese warships included a guided missile cruiser, a guided missile destroyer, a general intelligence vessel, and an auxiliary vessel. “The Chinese vessels conducted military and surveillance operations during their deployment to the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean,” the statement read. The Coast Guard added that while the ships did enter the U.S. economic zone, they obeyed international law and did not directly enter U.S. territorial waters.
The Chinese vessels reportedly conducted military and surveillance operations during their deployment. According to the Pentagon, the incursion occurred late last month. The story was first reported by The Drive, who obtained images of the Chinese vessels captured between August 29 and August 30. “Security in the Bering Sea and the Arctic is homeland security,” said Vice Admiral Michael McAllister. “The U.S. Coast Guard is continuously present in this important region to uphold American interests and protect U.S. economic prosperity.”
Chinese military vessels previously entered the same area in September of 2015. The incursion was a first for the PLAN, which occurred while then-President Barack Obama was touring the state of Alaska.