[Ed. – Hardball]
China has denied a request for a U.S. warship to visit Hong Kong, American officials said Tuesday.
The incident came amid rising tensions between Beijing and Washington over tariffs and follows the U.S. last week imposing sanctions on China after it bought arms from Russia.
The USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship, had been due to make a port call in the former British colony of Hong Kong in October, diplomatic sources told Reuters.
“The Chinese government did not approve a request for a U.S. port visit to Hong Kong by the USS Wasp,” a spokeswoman for the U.S. consulate in the city said.
“We have a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect that to continue,” she added.
In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang did not directly answer a question on whether China had denied the request.
“For requests for U.S. military ships to visit Hong Kong, China has always carried out approvals case by case, in accordance with the principle of sovereignty and the detailed situation,” he told reporters, without elaborating.