China Actually Started Blocking US Navy Port Calls to Hong Kong Months Before Its Latest Retaliatory Move

 In China, GDI, Defense, Sea, Air
  • China retal­i­at­ed against US leg­is­la­tion sup­port­ing human rights in Hong Kong on Monday by sus­pend­ing US Navy port vis­its to the city.
  • The move was a large­ly sym­bol­ic ges­ture, one with more diplo­mat­ic ram­i­fi­ca­tions than mil­i­tary, US offi­cials told Insider.
  • Pacific Fleet informed Insider that China has actu­al­ly been reject­ing port call requests for months now, with 7 denials in the past six months.
  • Visit Business Insider’s home­page for more sto­ries.

China retal­i­at­ed against the US Monday by sus­pend­ing US Navy port vis­its to Hong Kong — but China has actu­al­ly been reject­ing port call requests from the US for months now, US Pacific Fleet told Insider.

In response to Congress pass­ing and President Donald Trump sign­ing a bill sup­port­ing human rights in Hong Kong, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Monday that China has decid­ed to sus­pend the process of review­ing requests for US mil­i­tary ves­sels and air­craft to vis­it Hong Kong.

US offi­cials told Insider that the move has more diplo­mat­ic than oper­a­tional sig­nif­i­cance. “If we can’t make port there, we’ll make it some­where else,” one offi­cial said.

“We are aware the People’s Republic of China has sus­pend­ed US Navy port vis­its to Hong Kong,” Cdr. J. Myers Vasquez, a Pacific Fleet spokesman, told Insider Monday evening in an emailed state­ment. He added that the US Navy hopes that it will be able to “con­duct future port vis­its to Hong Kong.”

China’s deci­sion to sus­pend US Navy port calls to Hong Kong over what Beijing char­ac­ter­ized as “unrea­son­able” and “seri­ous inter­fer­ence in China’s inter­nal affairs” appears to be a large­ly sym­bol­ic ges­ture of China’s dis­sat­is­fac­tion with US behav­ior rather than a mean­ing­ful pun­ish­ment.

China has been reject­ing US Navy port calls left and right over the past few months.

China has, accord­ing to Pacific Fleet, reject­ed sev­en US Navy port vis­it requests in the past six months. The USS Green Bay and USS McCampbell were sched­uled to make port in August, the USS Lake Erie in September, the USS Patriot and USS Warrior in October, the USS Milius in November, and the USS Gabrielle Giffords in December. The last US Navy port call to Hong Kong was made by the USS Blue Ridge, the 7th Fleet com­mand ship, in April.

The city of Hong Kong has been in tur­moil for the bet­ter part of the year as pro-democ­ra­cy protests rage across the city.

After President Donald Trump signed into law the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act last week, Beijing warned that it would “take strong counter-mea­sures in response to the US behav­ior that inter­feres in China’s inter­nal affairs and under­mines China’s inter­ests.”

In addi­tion to sus­pend­ing port vis­its to Hong Kong, China has also decid­ed to sanc­tion var­i­ous non-gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions the coun­try’s gov­ern­ment has accused of fuel­ing the unrest in the Chinese city.

Source: Business Insider (Military & Defense)

Recommended Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search