Lawmakers react to report of suspected Chinese spies attempting to enter Alaska military sites

FastCast digital headlines for Wednesday, May 31, 2023.
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 4:53 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) - State lawmakers are responding to a report that there are Chinese spies in Alaska posing as tourists and trying to access military sites.

According to a USA Today article published Wednesday, some Chinese citizens posed as tourists and attempted to make entry at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks. According to the article, the vehicle they were traveling in sped through a security checkpoint at the installation. When the vehicle was finally stopped, a drone was located inside the vehicle and the occupants claimed they were lost tourists. The date and further details on the reported incident were not provided in the report.

In a statement released Wednesday, Sen. Dan Sullivan called the incidents a wake-up call.

“Whether it’s a Chinese spy balloon, Russian Bear Bombers, or this new reporting of suspected Chinese spies in Alaska, this is another wake-up call that we are in a new era of authoritarian aggression led by dictators in China and Russia,” Sullivan said. “It’s also another example of just how important Alaska is for America’s national defense. In my oversight role, I am pressing for more details on these alleged security breaches and will continue to work with the Defense Department to ensure our installations in Alaska remain secure.”

Speaking to Gray DC, Rep. Mary Peltola said she had not been briefed on the report but said, “Many other countries and nations understand the strategic importance of Alaska. I think that this re-emphasizes the need for the United States of America to really understand and keep investing in the strategic location.”

“We are close to our foreign adversaries — closer than any other state in the nation. And we’re very sensitive about that,” Peltola said. “But I have full faith in the Pentagon. I have full faith in the American government to make sure they will make sure that we are protected.”

USA Today wrote that while many incidents involving foreign visitors have been determined to be innocent mistakes, others have been deliberate.

Alaska’s News Source has not yet verified the information in the USA Today report, which cites sources that were not authorized to speak publicly.