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Soviet Planes Simulate Attacks, U.S. Admiral Says in China

November 06, 1986|United Press International

QINGDAO, China — The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet said Wednesday that Soviet bombers are conducting simulated attacks against Alaska and along the Chinese coastline en route to Vietnam.

Adm. James A. Lyons, in China for the first port call by U.S. warships since the 1949 Communist takeover, said the Navy has introduced a new "North Pacific strategy" to deter "Soviet aggressive actions."

"We do take note of the aggressive actions that the Soviets conduct over North Korea into the Yellow Sea and down into the South China Sea," Lyons told reporters aboard one of three U.S. vessels on a weeklong visit to the northeastern city of Qingdao.

"They are overflying North Korea with strike bombers, simulating attacks at various points" down the Chinese coastline en route to the Soviet naval facility at Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam, Lyons said. He did not say if the maneuvers were aimed at a specific country.

"We also see Soviet simulated attacks against Alaska," Lyons said. "No more do we let the Soviets operate with impunity in that area."

Adak Island a Base

He said the U.S. Navy has decided to make the island of Adak in the Aleutian chain a key base to protect U.S. interests in the North Pacific.

In a banquet welcome toast, Lyons said the United States will "continue to work with the Chinese navy to assist them in their modernization efforts."

The three U.S. warships carrying nearly 1,000 sailors steamed into Qingdao shortly after dawn Wednesday to begin a ceremonial weeklong tour. The three ships--the guided missile frigate Rentz, the destroyer Oldendorf and the guided missile cruiser Reeves--tied up alongside a pier as the U.S. band played "Happy Days," "Hey Look Me Over," and "Anchors Aweigh."

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