Tensions with China continue to escalate as Chinese officials denied passage to a U.S. Navy ship.
U.S. military officials confirmed that China refused to allow the USS Wasp to visit a port in Hong Kong next month, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. They did not provide a reason for refusing passage.
China denies port visit for US Navy ship. The USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship, had requested to make an October port call in Hong Kong. @Reuters https://t.co/D11pf6B2jp pic.twitter.com/Rvlr3r3yFB
— AMTI (@AsiaMTI) September 25, 2018
The Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group has been in the East China Sea after providing disaster relief assistance to areas in Guam and the Mariana Islands after Typhoon Mangkhut. U.S. officials did not confirm the purpose of the port visit, but said vessels have routinely visited the Hong Kong port without issue.
Additionally, China canceled a meeting between Chinese and U.S. senior naval officials, recalling their own Vice Adm. Shen Jinlong from visiting the U.S. The two were expected to join other global navy officials at the International Seapower Symposium.
“We were informed that Vice Adm. Shen Jinlong has been recalled to China and won’t conduct a visit with Adm. Richardson. We have no additional information at this time,” said Army Lt. Col. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman.
Latest sign of rising U.S.-China tensions: Beijing denies the USS Wasp a Hong Kong visit and cuts short a top Chinese admiral’s U.S. trip https://t.co/UjdDrMyYG3 in fact, Admiral Shen was at last week’s International Seapower Symposium in Newport
— Patrick Cronin (@PMCroninCNAS) September 25, 2018
China also announced the postponement of another meeting between Chinese and U.S. joint staff departments, which was scheduled for Sept. 25-27 in Beijing.
The changes come a week after the announcement of additional tariffs, and the latest round of sanctions against China.
The State Department enacted sanctions against the Chinese military for purchasing SU-35 combat planes and S-400 surface-to-air missiles from Russia. China called on U.S. ambassador Terry Branstad to complain of the sanctions.
Maj. Gen. Huang Xueping, deputy head of the Central Military Commission Office for International Military Cooperation, said that the procurement from Russia was in compliance with international law. He called the sanctions a “blatant violation of basic norms of international relations” and “a stark show of hegemony.”
“China demands the U.S. side immediately correct its mistake and withdraw the sanctions, and the Chinese military reserves the right to take further countermeasures,” he added.
Additionally, plans were announced last week to carry out another 10 percent tariff on Chinese goods. On Monday, the $200 billion worth of tariffs was implemented, along with China’s retaliatory tariffs of $60 billion on U.S. goods.
China’s latest snub isn’t the first time they’ve denied passage to a U.S. military ship. In April 2016, they denied another Hong Kong port visit to U.S. aircraft carrier John C. Stennis over land claim disputes toward islands in the South China Sea.