China has denied requests for two U.S. Navy ships to visit Hong Kong despite successful port visits in the past, the U.S. Pacific Fleet confirmed on Wednesday, Aug. 14.
The USS Green Bay was scheduled for a port visit in Hong Kong on Aug. 17 and the USS Lake Erie planned for a visit in September, but the Chinese government denied the requests on Tuesday, Fox News citing U.S. Pacific Fleet deputy spokesman Cmdr. Nate Christensen said.
“The U.S. Navy has a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect them to continue,” Christensen said, adding that the Chinese regime should give more information why they denied the request.
The USS Green Bay is an amphibious transport dock ship based in Japan, while the USS Lake Erie is a guided-missile cruiser based in San Diego.
China also blocked a U.S. Navy ship from visiting Hong Kong in September 2018 amid escalating trade tensions between the two countries. This year, the ongoing trade disputes plus civil unrest in Hong Kong maybe the reasons behind the denial.
The pro-democracy protest movement in Hong Kong, that began in March, has attracted tens of thousands of residents who demand the city’s leader Carrie Lam step down and the government pull a legislation that would allow it to extradite criminal suspects to mainland China.
Demonstrators are now protesting against the abuse of power after they faced a violent crackdown from police wielding shields and batons.
According to Breitbart, the Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly accused President Donald Trump of fabricating the protests as a ploy to weaken its economy.
President Trump on Tuesday denied the accusation, saying he could not imagine why many people were blaming him for the problems in Hong Kong.
Many are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong. I can’t imagine why?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2019
In a tweet on Wednesday, President Trump said he believed Chinese leader Xi Jingping could “quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem.”
I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a “tough business.” I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2019