China denies a United States Navy request for a port visit

Michael Burke

China on Monday denied a United States Navy permission request for a port visit next month to Hong Kong, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

The decision to deny the port visit comes as tensions between the U.S. and China escalate on both economic and military fronts.

The ship, the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group, is currently in the East China Sea, according to the Journal. The ship has been at sea since August and can hold as many as 1,600 Marines and sailors on board, the newspaper reported.

China also canceled an upcoming meeting between top naval officers from the two countries, the Journal also reported.

Chinese Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong was scheduled to meet in the U.S. with Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson at the International Seapower Symposium, a gathering of global naval officials in Rhode Island, according to the Journal.

“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,” Pentagon spokesman and Army Lt. Col. David Eastburn told the newspaper in a statement.

Last week, the U.S. sanctioned China and a Chinese official, Li Shangfu, for purchases of fighter jets and missiles from the Kremlin.

The State Department said Shangfu and China were targeted for purchases of Su-35 combat aircraft and equipment for S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia in late 2017 and early 2018.

The Trump administration also imposed its latest round of tariffs on China earlier this month, targeting $200 billion of Chinese imports.

That announcement prompted China to retaliate with tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. imports.

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