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The USS Green Bay near the Thai coast in 2017. Photo: Roberto Sschmidt/AFP/Getty Images

China denied a U.S. Navy request Tuesday to make scheduled port visits to Hong Kong, amid trade tensions and massive pro-democracy protests in the Chinese-controlled territory, Bloomberg reports.

Details: U.S. Pacific Fleet deputy spokesperson Cmdr. Nate Christensen referred the media to the Chinese government for information about why it denied port visit requests for the USS Green Bay and USS Lake Erie, which were due to arrive on Aug. 17 and in September, respectively, per the National Review.

The U.S. Navy has a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect them to continue."
— Statement by Cmdr. Nate Christensen, U.S. Pacific Fleet deputy spokesperson

The big picture: The refusal comes as the prolonged trade war between China and the U.S. shows no sign of abating.

  • The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong is also proving to be a flashpoint in tensions between the 2 countries. The Chinese government has claimed that the United States has played a role in encouraging the protests — an accusation the U.S. denies.

Go deeper: The great global decoupling of China and the U.S.

Go deeper

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.