Home » Foreign Forces » Chinese Warships Made ‘Innocent Passage’ Through U.S. Territorial Waters off Alaska


Chinese Warships Made ‘Innocent Passage’ Through U.S. Territorial Waters off Alaska

A photo of Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy warships in 2014. PLAN Photo

A photo of Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy warships in 2014. PLAN Photo

Five Chinese warships crossed into U.S. territorial waters heading south out of the Bering Sea exercising a stipulation in maritime law that allows a warship to cross into another country’s maritime territory legally, U.S. defense officials told USNI News on Thursday.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) flotilla made an “innocent passage” passing within 12 nautical miles of the Aleutian Islands that border the southern edge of the Bering Sea, defense officials told USNI News.

“The five PLAN ships transited expeditiously and continuously through the Aleutian Island chain in a manner consistent with international law,” according to a Thursday statement provided to USNI News by U.S. Northern Command.

NORTHCOM did not provide a time when the transit occurred but it is most likely the ships passed through the islands either early Thursday morning or late Wednesday night based on USNI News’ understanding of the current positions of the flotilla — about 300 nautical miles south of the island of Attu on the western edge of the Aleutians.

An innocent passage, without prior notification, is a maritime right laid out as part of the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention.

Under international law a warship can transit through a nation’s territorial waters “so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal state,” according to Article 19 of the UNLOSC.

Specifically, it means during an innocent passage a warship can’t launch or recover aircraft, collect military intelligence, distribute propaganda, launch any kind of watercraft, fire weapons, fish or take any other action that is not involved in the direct passage of the ship through the territory of the costal state.

Innocent passage differs from a warship moving through an internationally recognized transit area like the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf or the Strait of Gibraltar. Warships are not subject to the innocent passage limitations during those transit passages.

The PLAN group was composed of three surface combatants, an amphibious warship and a fleet oiler and were part of the seven ship group the Chinese sent to drill with the Russians earlier this month off of Russia’s Pacific coast and the Sea of Japan.

According to Chinese press reports, the PLAN sent Type 051C Luzhou-class guided missile destroyer Shenyang (115), Russian-built Sovremennyy-class guided destroyer Taizhou (138), Type 54A Jiangkai II frigates Linyi (547) and Hengyang (568), Type 071 amphibious warship Changbaishan, Type 072A tank landing ship (LST) Yunwushan (997) and Type 903 fleet oiler Taihu to the exercise.

The PLAN flotilla entered the Bering Sea via international waters via a passage between the Russian Kamchatka peninsula and the American Attu island, a defense official confirmed to USNI News on Thursday.

After operating in the Bering Sea — a first for the PLAN — the group passed east of Attu, through the Aleutians and into the northern Pacific Ocean.

According to one maritime law expert, an innocent passage on the part of the Chinese would send several messages to the U.S. and the international community.

Not only does the PLAN visit to the Bering Sea coincide with China’s massive celebration on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II the operation also comes ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the U.S. later this month.

“It kills a lot of birds,” James Kraska, professor in the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law at the Naval War College, told USNI News on Thursday.

The PLAN ships moving through the Aleutians would be the legal equivalent of a U.S. destroyer moving through the strait separating mainland China from Hainan Island, Kraska said.

An undated Chinese amphibious warship Changbaishan. Chinese Ministry of Defense Photo

An undated Chinese amphibious warship Changbaishan. Chinese Ministry of Defense Photo

Closer to home China jealously guards its own maritime boundaries and has at times required prior notification for ships making innocent passages in its own territorial waters and routinely challenges aircraft and ships in what are universally considered international waters.

U.S. military ships and aircraft routinely conduct freedom of navigation missions in the South China Sea drawing fighter intercepts and verbal rebukes from the PLA.

For its part, the U.S. has not made innocent passage part of its freedom of navigation missions in the South China Sea — a divisive issue between the Pentagon and the Obama administration, according to a late July report in Politico.

Kraska said there was a perception in China that the U.S. viewed the Bering Sea the same way the Chinese see the South China Sea and the PLAN mission would be provocative.

“They think this sends a big signal [to the U.S.] but they’ll be surprised that the U.S. treats them professionally,” he said.

  • You Didit

    Lets hope those Chinese Ships are made like those crappy Chinese TV’s i bought. Took 3 home 1 worked lol…

    • Joseph Ruggiero

      They are Russian made.

      • You Didit

        “The Type 051C or Luzhou class destroyer is a long-range air-defence guided missile destroyer built by China in its ongoing effort to create a true blue water navy. The ship uses the hull design of the older Type 051B (Luhai class), but is equipped with the advanced Russian S-300FM air defence missiles systems. Currently, two ships of this class have been launched and deployed by People’s Liberation Army Navy North Sea Fleet”. But on the rest i stand corrected have a Good day

  • Curtis Conway

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, particularly when it’s in a mutually signed and recognized document governing such activity. There were no US military or otherwise operators on radios telling the Chinese to ‘stay away because we didn’t want to have a mistake to happen’. Such transmissions only come from those who have something to hide, or have nefarious motives. I applaud the Chinese and their adherence to International Law as stipulated in UNCLOS.

    • PolicyWonk

      I’ll applaude them myself once they start doing the same in the S. China Sea!

      Until then, I’ll clap with one hand 😛

      Cheers.

      • Curtis Conway

        Agreed!

      • publius_maximus_III

        Ah, the sound of one hand clapping. Very Zen.

  • Joseph Ruggiero

    Professionally? Basically China is “CLAIMING” the Bering Sea. This Administration has no backbone!

    • orochi235

      Why do you think they sent ships there? They want a reaction. Giving them one plays right into their hand.

      • Joseph Ruggiero

        Subject: Re: Comment on Chinese Warships Made ‘Innocent Passage’ Through U.S. Territorial Waters off Alaska

  • Joseph Ruggiero

    You don’t understand Chinese.

  • iFight4Liberty

    There is NO SUCH Thing as an ‘Innocent Passage’ Through U.S. Territorial Waters off Alaska by Chinese War Ships!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • KazuakiShimazaki

      Definitely a valid opinion, at least in a moral sense. However, then you’ll have to ask questions about whether a US warship intruding into other people’s waters under the Pretense of Innocent Passage is valid.

      • Marcd30319

        It’s no pretense.

      • Marcd30319

        You know, your entire stance is so hypocritical and self-serving that it is almost laughable. You crow about China steaming through the Bering Sea but you grumble when the US does the same. So juvenile.

        • DT

          So do you posses a stunning lack of self-awareness or do you do it for the lulz?

          • Marcd30319

            Neither. I do it because I dislike falsehood and Soros-funded trolling.

      • Navyjag907

        There’s no pretense. Innocent passage is a right recognized by all nations, probably excluding North Korea and Iran.

      • iFight4Liberty

        Hi Kazuaki,

        We’re the ‘Good Guys’, they’re not.

    • Richard Zamberlan

      It all part of the international game but perfectly legal under United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Which we wave in the face of China, Iran, everyone in South China Sea, etc. This is pretty small drop in the bucket as far as posturing goes. Imagine what it would be like if a foreign power surrounded you with military bases , supplied all their neighboring allies to you with high grade weaponry and training, and continually opposed your ambitions off your coast. Who would do that?

      If we dish it out, we should be able to take it.

      • iFight4Liberty

        Innocent is the KEY WORK Richard,

        It wasn’t Innocent, it was Intentional.

  • Master of Unlocking

    Well, by not throwing a tantrum like China would were the situation reversed, the US can be the bigger man here and show China for the immature wannabe schoolyard bullies that they are. Innocent passage without prior notification is allowed under international law, yet, as mentioned in the article, China demands prior notification from other countries before they make an innocent passage through Chinese territorial waters. And yet China did not bother to notify the US before their warships made an innocent passage through American territorial waters. Even worse, the article says that China routinely challenges ships traveling through INTERNATIONAL waters, never mind territorial waters.

    In short, China is a hypocrite that uses international law when it serves their interests and rejects it when it does not.

    • KazuakiShimazaki

      I think it is a matter of If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them. The US is cool now, but if the Chinese makes it routine, then we’ll see if the US can remain cool. Either way, the Chinese win – they can make the US look like hypocrites or at least they can affirm their right to steam off the US coast whenever they wish.

      • USNVO

        However, the U.S. has never been anything but “Cool” with international law. Remember when China sent an intelligence ship to operate in the EEZ around Hawaii during RIMPAC? U.S. said they were perfectly inside their rights. Same thing here. During the Cold War, Soviet AGIs used to regularly operate off Norfolk and San Diego without the US getting bent out of shape. On the other hand, when the U.S. operated in international Waters in the Black Sea, the Soviets rammed one of the U.S. Ships. It seems like only those countries that want to follow international law only when it is convenient for them have a problem here.

      • Master of Unlocking

        Other way around. Let’s see if China will be cool when US ships are sailing in their territorial waters claiming innocent passage oh, every week or so. I guarantee you China will lose their temper before the US does. The US has no beef with Chinese ships wasting fuel to go to Alaska, they can’t touch the US anyway.

        What you don’t understand is that China has already lost. They look like hypocrites, and that’s what they are.

    • DT

      Literally everything you are saying applies to the US Navy, and in many more instances.

      • Marcd30319

        It’s called freedom of navigation, DT, which requires exercising those rights. For example, in the 1980s, we challenged Libya’s illegal claim that the Gulf of Sidra was its territorial waters when in fact that gulf was recognized by everyone else as international waters.

        What Master of Unlocking points out is the hypocrisy of China asserting its rights for innocent passage through our territorial waters while harassing others in international waters where they falsely claims as their own territorial waters. It’s the old Soviet playbook, but it doesn’t make it right.

        Even a Soros-funded troll can see that.

    • Navyjag907

      One of the major points of innocent passage is not having to make prior notification. The USG has no problem with what China did because we do the same thing. If I were still in the international law business, we’d be drinking champagne over what China did in our territorial seas off Alaska.

      • USNVO

        Exactly, this is almost as good as the AGI at RIMPAC! At this rate the Chinese will have themselves painted in a corner in no time.

  • dingding

    just 5 PLA warships crossed into U.S. territorial waters , and the Americans knees are trembling. cowards

    • Ctrot

      Japan made the mistake of being cocky like you once, you might want to take note of how that turned out. Oh and a thank you to America for saving China from Japan would be nice. Assuming “dingding” and your love of the PLA indicates you are Chinese.

      • dingding

        we didn’t ask to be save we could have handled those bow legged creatures. I’m not being cocky I’m just being real

        • Master of Unlocking

          It didn’t look like you were handling the Japanese very well on your own. You were getting beat up by a country with a fraction of your size and population. How embarrassing is that?

          • dingding

            well, the toothless brits drugged our people so what do you expect?

          • Master of Unlocking

            So the reason you were losing badly to a much smaller country is because of all that opium you guys got hooked on?

        • muzzleloader

          Judging from your verbal errors and derogatory spears at the Japanese, I think it is a safe assumption that you are Chinese.

    • orochi235

      You shouldn’t respond to a child’s outburst by bringing yourself down to his level.

    • Navyjag907

      I thought the PLA had a good grip on international law. If you work for them, obviously the PLA doesn’t. And I’ve been previously impressed with the PLA’s representatives. On those occasions their knees weren’t trembling and neither were ours. I have every regard for the battle history of the PLA. If you think we’re cowardly, you might want to read our battle history.

      • dingding

        yeah i did, and you lost two wars against China Vietnam and Korea. ran away like a db

        • Master of Unlocking

          Funny you should mention that. Didn’t you also lose and run away against Vietnam?

          But I know what you’re going to answer. You wumao trolls are too predictable. You’ll say that you beat Vietnam in 1979, yet the US lost in Korea, even though the result in both cases was exactly the same – a stalemate. You’re not smart enough to see how you’re contradicting yourself.

          • dingding

            we didn’t lost to Vietnam look where they are now still under China’s influence

    • John B. Morgen

      Just one American nuclear powered submarine (SSN) could easily destroy all five Chinese warships, within minutes. And it is quite possible an American submarine is on station, and tracking every move that this Chinese squadron makes. So just remember what happen during the Falklands War when a British SSN sank an Argentinian light cruiser with ease. No the PLAN should be worry….

      • dingding

        well prove it! PLAN would destroy the whole US navy in just less than a week

        • John B. Morgen

          You must be dreaming, especially, when the PLAN has no history of fighting a major naval power; furthermore, the PLAN just recently started to become a deep water navy. The PLAN only has one aircraft carrier, and few modern destroyers and frigates. While the United States Navy has many major warships than the PLAN, and also has a very long track record of combating many threats; for example, it helped out by taking out Iraq in very short order. Most of the Iraqi forces were destroyed within 100 hours; that is the fourth largest military.
          The American submarines have been improved over the years; especially, both the Sea Wolf and Virginia classes are more advanced than the PLAN could ever throw at them. No dingding,it would only take a few days for the United States Navy to completely destroy the PLAN.

          Note: Both British and American SSNs are very much alike; except the American SSNs are much larger than the former.

  • John B. Morgen

    These warships were no doubt conducting an intelligence mission by mapping the region’s ocean floor, for possible submarine operations. The United States should require the Chinese to give notice for all or any so-called innocent passage, with American naval escort. It is a folly to think otherwise it is an innocent passage in our home waters. The United States should safe guard our national security interests—at all times.

    • KazuakiShimazaki

      Perhaps. However, if you choose to do that, then the Chinese win – they got you to understand how they feel when you US does the same in other people’s waters. It is easy for the US to proclaim Innocent Passage for Warships when in reality it is only THEIR warships in other people’s waters – now the Chinese are putting the shoe onto the American foot.

      • orochi235

        If that’s their only goal, then great. They got us to feel something. BFD. This isn’t nearly as offensive as their constant IP theft from American industry.

      • Marcd30319

        So juvenile, laughably so. It’s okay when the Chinese do it, or the Russians, but never the US. Just pathetic.

        • muzzleloader

          What is evident is that you a troll. Just pathetic.

          • Marcd30319

            Because I have been a member of the United States Naval Institute since 1974 and I actually pay for the privilege of posting here as a member.

            Unlike some free-loading Disque interlopers trolling through this message board which is truly pathetic.

          • muzzleloader

            If you do not like “interlopers” visiting the website then you should suggest to USNI that it be be a subscriber only site such as Stratfor. I think you would be surprised how many ‘freeloaders “read USNI often. I happen to be a Navy veteran, a current career employee of DoD, and I read this site daily.
            As for your being a 4 decade member of USNI, I truly respect that, but when you equivocate the current Naval activity of the Russians and Chicom navies with that of the USN, I have a problem with that.

          • Master of Unlocking

            I think we misunderstood what he was saying. Upon rereading his comment, it was actually a criticism of those who would defend the actions of the Russians and Chinese. At least that’s how I interpreted it.

          • Marcd30319

            That;s why you are the Master!

          • Marcd30319

            Allow me to thank you for your service in the Navy and at the DOD.

            Allow me to clear up any questions on my part regarding the freedom of navigation in international waters, the right of innocent passage through territorial waters, and the United States role in these areas.

            The United States has always tried to uphold freedom of navigation, including the right of innocent passage through territorial waters. That’s why the US challenged Libya’s claim that the Gulf of Sidra was their territorial waters in the 1980s or why we send ships into the Black Sea in order exercise our rights under the Montreux Convention.

            The United States exercises its freedom of navigation in order to illustrate and reassure other maritime nations of their rights under freedom of navigation and international law. The USA is the beat cop that walks the neighborhood to let everyone know that the street is safe.

            I cannot say the same for the Chinese or the Russians who are looking out for no one else’s interests but their own. I am not saying that they are acting like a bunch of street thugs but they are not behaving as good actor on the international stage either.

            Yes, the Chinese was showing their flag in the Bering Sea. Yes, Putin had his navy show the Russian flag when he was in Australia for the G20 summit in 2104. Yes, we showed our flag in the Taiwan Strait in 1955, 1958, and 1996. It about sending a message. I think we need to start getting the message and get serious about the Chinese in the East China and South Chine seas as well as the Russian in the Black Sea and Eastern Europe.

            To summarize, I take issue with KazuakiShimazaki and his juvenile glee at China and Russia showing the flag in our territorial waters but damning our exercising our right of navigation in their territorial waters.

            I also take issue with KazuakiShimazaki excusing or justifying Chinese and Russian harassment of ships and aircraft in international waters or airspace that they illegally claim as their own while condemning past instances of the US exercising its legitimate freedom of navigation.

          • muzzleloader

            Thank you for the great lengths you went to in your reply, I truly appreciate it, and I do sincerely apologize for my misunderstanding. With warm regards.

          • Marcd30319

            No problem, sir. All the best for a safe and fun labor Day weekend.

      • John B. Morgen

        I would have to disagree because we have sent aircraft to fly inside international airspace to conduct recon operations, which the Chinese have interfered with our aircraft’s operations; for example, a P-3C aircraft was forced to land on Chinese soil after it was interfered by Chinese Migs. This example happen during the Bush the Younger Administration.

      • USNVO

        And the U.S. Reaction is to yawn, just like it was with the Soviets and every other country that thought there would be some huge response.

    • Navyjag907

      Innocent passage is something in our interest. We’ve used it in our freedom of navigation program–like other rights it has to be exercised or it will disappear over time. When other powers use it to indicate their recognition of the right, it redounds to our benefit. If we required prior notification, it would weaken if not destroy the right. And even if we tried to require prior notification, other powers, according to our own practice, are not required to give it.

      • John B. Morgen

        By giving prior notification will not weaken “Innocent Passage,” but strengthen it by showing respect to the sovereign nation-state in question. If not, this program will come to end if some sovereign nation-state feels it was of being slighted by another naval power. The result would be, the intruder(s) will be met by missile boats armed with SSMs. Therefore, being both polite and courteous goes a long way; a policy that even nation-states will still accept.

        • Navyjag907

          Prior notification carries with it the ability to turn down the request and there will always be pressure to do that. Anyway, nation states do things because it’s in their interest, not because they have good manners. Conversely, they don’t ordinarily meet other nations’ ships with “missile boats” because they have hurt feelings. International law including oceans law is basically two things–(1) treaties and agreements which have the force of treaties and (2) custom as in customary international law. You confuse things when you talk about “being slighted” as a basis for making policy.

          • John B. Morgen

            Foreign policy is the result from human emotions, and the Chinese or even the Japanese are NOT really different. They can be slighted, and you will receive a response from them.

          • Marcd30319

            Foreign policy should be based on the national interest, never on emotions unless you are looking for trouble.

          • John B. Morgen

            That is an ideal situation, but only if humans are sane. A good example was when human emotions went wild was when we invaded Iraq for the second time. The second invasion was not in our national interests, but from human emotions of an American president.

          • Marcd30319

            The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 made regime change in Iraq national policy. Its preamble provided ample reasons for that change in policy pre-911.

            Of course, as the ex post factor, hindsight kind of guy, I am sure you have some clever rejoinder of infinite wisdom after the fact, of course.

            BTW – At least President Bush asked for Congressional approval for the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan unlike the 2011 Libyan intervention which had no congressional approval or even vote.

    • Richard Zamberlan

      Not a whole lot of operations up there and not much intel to collect. More importantly, it takes months to conduct a decent bathymetric survey. Plus alot of that info is already available commercially courtesy of big oil/gas.

      • John B. Morgen

        Unless this Chinese naval squadron is a path finder for something else, or trying to find more detailed information about the ocean’s floor topography.

        • Marcd30319

          It seems very like that this squadron was showing the flag in our backyard. If it had been an oceanographic or scientific mission, you don’t need to send warships; one of their hydro-graphic survey ships could have done a better job.

          • John B. Morgen

            And yes, it is quite possible this Chinese squadron is just showing the flag, and research oceanographic ships (AGORs) would do a much better job for surveying the topography of the ocean floor. However, we still don’t know their intentions, and why are they sailing deep inside our territorial waters. We really don’t know? Yet, it is quite possible these warships could be carrying surveying equipment on board, and the “showing the flag” is just a shield for their true intentions

          • Marcd30319

            Since this excursion took place at the same time as the Chinese celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, with its huge parade of military hardware, you don’t have to be Western Union to know that the RPC is sending a message.

          • John B. Morgen

            No you’re quite correct Marcd30319, but to send such a message I would have added the aircraft carrier Liaoning be apart of the squadron because aircraft carriers of the 50,000 tonnage range are excellent message senders. Larger warships have that effect on people from other nation-states.

          • Marcd30319

            Trust me, those two big amphibs, particularly that Type 071 LPD, are message enough, especially if they were carrying a marine landing team.

          • John B. Morgen

            Indeed, the Yuzhao (Type 071) class amphibious assault ship is quite an impressive warship for its size and sleek design, however, its amphibious consort the Yunwashan (LST) is not all that impressive than the LPD, or even the escorting warships. Again, and only if the Chinese had their only aircraft carrier be deployed with this squadron, then that would have been an impressive sight to witness from afar. Again, larger warships always get the spot-light from the news media.

          • Marcd30319

            Certainly we operated aircraft carriers in the Bering Sea such as the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) back in 1986-1987 as well as 1989 much the the “amusement: of the Soviet Navy. In fact, the Vinson may very well had been the first aircraft carrier to actually operate in the Bering Sea.

            Given their comparative lack of experience, the Chinese may not have wanted to risk the only carrier. Certainly, the message is clear enough all the same, and the news coverage was quite extensive.

            Particularly since the USA did nothing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War 2 other than a photo junket to Alaska by POTUS.

          • John B. Morgen

            Yes, it was quite odd that we didn’t commemorate the 70th anniversary that marked the end of World War II, which was a major event in modern human history. Yes sending an American aircraft carrier into the Bering Sea would naturally make the Soviets/Russians to become quite unedge about of the whole event. However, by sending a carrier battle group (CBG) into the Baltic would be quite worst because that part of the region is considered by the Soviets/Russians to be their front door. In 1946, the United States Navy sent the battleship Missouri (BB-63) to the Bosporus, which the Soviets profoundly criticized. Then again, the Soviet Navy had nothing to matched the Missouri.

          • Marcd30319

            Actually, in 1962, the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CVS-18) became the first U.S. aircraft carrier to operate in the Baltic Sea. It also mad a port-call at Kiel, Germany on May 5, 1962, another first for a US aircraft carrier.

            See USS Wasp – Vol II dated 1999, pages 24,27, 47.

            Of course the Baltic Sea has always been considered international waters, just like the Bering Sea.

            The visit of the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) to return the body of the late Turkish ambassador was an important event. Originally, the large carriers Midway (CVB-41) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42) plus the fast carrier Princeton (CV-37) were slated to deploy to the Mediterranean but the State Department killed that so the Missouri went instead.

            See Jeffrey G. Barlow. From Hot War to Cold (2009), pages 168-169; 170.

            However, historian James Chace noted that it was the deployment of Task Group 125.4 led by the Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Mediterranean in September 1946 that marked the true beginning of the Cold War.

            See “First Skirmishes: The Day the Cold War Started” in The Cold War: A Military History, page 11.

            And the deployment of the USS Randolph (CV-15) into the Mediterranean in November 1946 that marked beginning of our stationing fast carrier task groups there.

            See Normal Polmar et al. Chronology of the Cold War at Sea, page 8.

          • John B. Morgen

            Yes, the Baltic is international waters, but the Soviets/Russians have always treated it as if the Baltic belongs to them.
            I have always thought President Truman should have sent in the two Midways CVBs to act as consorts for the battleship Missouri, regardless of the State Department’s objections. Such message would have been profound because Stalin at that time would have understood the message quite clearly because Stalin considers capital ships as being high political value than destroyers. Stalin believed in having aircraft carriers and battleships, besides having cruisers. Stalin was from the “old school” of thought.

          • Marcd30319

            Yes, the Baltic is international waters, but the Soviets/Russians have always treated it as if the Baltic belongs to them.

            But the Baltic Sea is still international waters. It is this fuzzy-headed way of thinking that allows tyrants to thrive, now or then.

            Speaking of then, Truman sent his message effectively enough. Joe Stalin like a lot of things but fortunately for the rest of the people on the old USSR he did not live long enough to see it come to pass.

          • John B. Morgen

            Stalin had a large naval expansion program that included battleships, battlecruisers and aircraft carriers; plus, cruisers and destroyers, etc. Because Stalin knew that the Soviet Union had to modernized the Soviet Navy; in order to protect the Soviet Union’s vast shoreline from a western attack. After Stalin’s death, his naval programs were cancelled by Khrushchev because submarines were going to be corner stone of Soviet naval policy. Khrushchev believed that Germany could have won World War II, if Hitler had over 300 U-boats instead of having 57 U-boats from the start of the war. The Allies wouldn’t have enough escorts to confront such large submarine force of 300, but lucky for the Allies that Hitler was not smart enough to understand about importance of having a large submarine force; except for Captain Karl Doenitz, head of the U-boat Arm. Furthermore, in Khrushchev’s mind-set was that submarines costs far less than building fast battleships..

          • Marcd30319

            I first read Robert W. Herrick’s book on Soviet naval strategy back in 1974 so thanks for the “refresher.”

          • John B. Morgen

            You’re welcome—Marcd30319.

          • Marcd30319

            I didn’t; I was being ironic, hence the quotations marks bracketing the word refresher.

    • superg05

      lol if you think they weren’t monitored visually , by satellite ,radar and probably subsurface you are naive the US is active in the world for one reason Pearl Harbor and they vowed never again

      • John B. Morgen

        I never said anything that implied this Chinese squadron was not being monitor, I just think we should have naval escort on station to let the Chinese know that they are in our waters.

  • TheWorldisNUTS

    Lets all keep buying things “Made in China” people and thank the people in Washington for amazing trade deals with China.

    • John B. Morgen

      We’re only hanging ourselves by our own bloody rope, just to get some profits….

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  • publius_maximus_III

    PLAN: “In your face, Yankee dogs.”
    USN: “Uh, OK, I guess…”
    JMO

  • Ruckweiler

    Ok, let the USN make an “innocent passage” through the Red Chinese ADIZ that they’ve declared in recent years.

    • Navyjag907

      ADIZs are for aircraft not ships and are for the benefit of the establishing party. There’s no legal requirement to respect an ADIZ although you have to if you’re planning on landing in the establishing party’s territory. Further, as a matter of comity most nations will comply with a properly established ADIZ.

      • Ruckweiler

        Navyjag907:
        Know what an ADIZ is but it’s a shorthand way of saying exclusionary zone. The Red Chinese mean it to apply to ALL “intrusions” into their territory, as they see it. How the rest of the world disagrees remains to be seen.

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  • Matt

    The article mentioned the 70th Anniversary celebrations and Xi’s forthcoming trip to the US but failed to mention Obama’s presence in Alaska at the time of this “innocent passage”. This move reveals China is attempting to intimidate Obama personally and directly. I don’t think they would attempt such a provocative thing unless they had good reason to believe it might work. Their perception that Obama is weak and can be intimidated is literally provoking China’s never before seen actions in the Bering Sea and more especially in the South China Sea and East China Sea.

    • muzzleloader

      Well considering the skinny mom jean wearing metrosexual in the Oval office, it is no wonder. Trump in 16!

  • tom

    I think it is a mildly interesting what the Chinese did here. I will be more impressed and interested when they execute an innocent passage exercise close to the mouth of the Mississippi in the GOM or in the VACAPES op area or in the entrance to the Cheasapeake Bay or even just outside of NYC in the Long Island Sound. Now that would be interesting to say the least.

    • USNVO

      Except it wouldn’t be innocent passage. Innocent passage must be from the high seas to the high seas, say when you transit from the Bering Sea to the Pacific. So, since Long Island Sound is internal waters of the US and there is no way to transit from the high seas to the high seas, it is not innocent passage. But if it were legal, the US wouldn’t give a hoot if they did, as has been demonstrated numerous times in the past. In fact, if you can cite an incident where the U.S. did not follow maritime law, I would be amazed. China not so much.

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  • RobM1981

    I’m happy to finally see this reported. I was wondering when Proceedings would mention it.

    I am, however, disappointed that there is no mention of Obama’s visit coinciding with this “Innocent passage.” C’mon, USNI, you’re more professional than that.

    I also like to believe, strongly, that the PLAN TG was heavily monitored from all facets, including underwater.

    And maybe they were given some idea of just how monitored they were? That would be nice… unreported, of course, but nice.

  • FedUpWithWelfareStates

    Chinese have about as much business being in the Bering Sea, as we have being in the SCS…not much.

    • John B. Morgen

      They can operate inside international waters, but stay out of our pool.

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  • On Dre

    So the best statement to make the next time this happens is not to say ANYTHING!
    But then have an ocean going tug shadow the foreign fleet. To , you know, provide helpful assistance when one of those “made in china” ships has a quality deficiency during the underway.

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  • John B. Morgen

    Such missiles can be shot down, and that is why the Navy has been updating it’s warships. There’s no game changer here.
    As for Iraq, President Obama decided it was time to withdraw, and allowed the Iraqis to defend for themselves, since we spent billions of USDs to trained them. Of course, internal Iraqi politics that brought many defeats of the Iraqi Army against ISIS. Iraq was doom to start with, it was like watching the fall of South Vietnam all over again, by watching a retreating army on TV. We should have maintain a forward base in Iraq, then the situation would have been quite different.
    You’re quite delusional about our SSNs, which is quite interesting to make a note about PLAN’s problems with their new submarine fleet of not being able to get all of the boats out at sea due to construction problems, excluding the Russian built Kilo class submarines.
    You sound like a Sino-supporter or you’re apart of the Chinese military intelligence..

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  • halfnelson_73

    Us navy to Chinese navy: Can’t touch this…. Slam-er Time!

  • Qsoft

    In my personal opinion, China wants to do a bargain with the US by intentionally doing this. That is respect each other’s territory claim as “core interests”. Since Mr. Xi is going to the USA this month, the PLA navy is doing this as a leverage to do some political trade with Mr. Barack. I guess the deal would be “don’t send navy close to each other’s backyard because this will make people feel unsafe”. What do you guys think?

  • JC

    Plenty of tantrum is being thrown in the US media.

  • Cletus Jefferson Davis

    Come a little close, said the spider to the fly.

    Intelligence gathering is always a two way street.

  • Ako Madamosiya 毛むくじゃら

    “This is US territory. You go!!!” Does that mean we can do the same on Fiery Cross in West Philippine Sea? We just allowed them within our 12 mile limit. Would they allow the US overflights and check out their construction?

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  • John B. Morgen

    Generals may know more about American panzers and panzers from other nation-states than admirals; however, generals are not the same as admirals and they don’t know much about American warships. You (dingding) can think all you want and believe the Chinese propaganda, but missiles can be shot down.

  • John B. Morgen

    The only thing that the PLAN has done right so far, and that is, scrapping those old obsolete warships that were captured in 1949. The PLAN does not have enough first-line warships to take on the United States Navy. The PLAN is simply out gunned, and that is a fact!

  • John B. Morgen

    No dingding! We don’t like unwelcome foreign visits in our pond. That’s all

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  • Olesalt

    Under UNCLOS 19, China cannot be accused of any wrong doing. Expect this to happen quite often, as the USN ships have been doing similar passages in the Far East regional waters off China. China has voiced its support of Russian ships patrolling waters off Japan & “Russian” Kurile Islands. Joint China and Russian naval exercises were conducted & expected to continue in these waters. Competing forces and potential adversaries will take advantage of the US defence budget cuts, and the reduction of USN ships. Other important factors to be considered are the respective countries’ economies, trade and financial strengths. The success of trade pacts: US (TPP) vs China (AIIB) are of importance. Interesting to observe developments in the Artic Circle, especially likely territorial waters grab by Russia, with the likely support of an assertive China. Who will eventually blink? It’s time for US, Japan and allies to do counter strategies soon.

  • Sailboater

    If we had a proper frigate force along with enough destroyers and proper strike cruisers instead of modifier destroyers acting like cruisers We could have a strong and proper surface action groups available for the Barents, and choked points thoughout the world. While carriers are nice they can’t be everywhere

  • Master of Unlocking

    You seriously believe that the US did not sink your 3 little ships because they are afraid of you? And do you seriously believe that those 3 ships can destroy the entire US Navy, or are you exaggerating to make a point?

    Because if you seriously believe that, you are even stupider than I thought you were. Are all Chinese as stupid as you are? Is that because of all the opium too?

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  • Michael Rich

    If carriers are so obsolete do you want to explain to me why your country continue to build them? I mean since they are so obsolete it is a giant waste of money. You’re obviously an idiot or a troll so people should just stop responding at this point and report your posts. Good-day, idiot.

  • Marcd30319

    Yeah, it’s a pretty sorry response, but not unexpected.

  • Marcd30319

    Given the fact that I get notified of every response to my post, your first sentence is totally not credible and undermines the rest of your cut-and-paste agitprop.

    Innocent passage is innocent passage. Period.

    And countries who refuse to negotiate in good faith while trying to gain control over vast swaths of the ocean by illegitimately misapplying EEZ are flirting with disaster.

    Don’t screw with the cop on the beat. You might not like what you get when he’snot there.

    • KazuakiShimazaki

      In a world that’s made of nominally equal countries, it is pretty arrogant to just call yourself the cop. Besides, cops in the US are not necessarily popular even with their own countrymen.

      Let me say I don’t take China’s side on this, and I don’t agree with applying territorial rules to EEZ. That, however, is not the same as the United States sailing warships right next to people’s coasts using a minimalistic intepretation of UNCLOS and it might not be a good idea for the US herself in the long run.

      • Marcd30319

        There you go again, talking our both sides of your morally relativistic mouth. You confirm your biases and narrow-mindedness by you own words. If it was that you are so self serving, I could almost congratulate you on your smug self-awareness. Almost.

        Innocent passage is still innocent passage. Period.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Funny how the Chinese Navy had just shown what close cooperation they could have with their Russian neighbors, then decide to veer so far -away- from the Russian coastline bordering the Bering Strait while navigating that 53-mile wide passage. Hmmm…

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