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China denies U.S. Navy request for warships to visit Hong Kong

A flock of birds flies in the vicinity of the USS Green Bay, an amphibious transport dock as it manoeuvrers off the Thai coast during an amphibian landing exercise in Chonburi on February 17, 2017
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.

QuoteThe 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.