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28 Aug, 2019 06:38

Beijing bars third US warship from entering Chinese port amid Hong Kong unrest

Beijing bars third US warship from entering Chinese port amid Hong Kong unrest

China has shot down a US Navy request for its warship to dock at the eastern port city of Qingdao. It is the second time that Beijing has turned away US vessels, having rejected a visit from two warships earlier this month.

A US destroyer was scheduled to arrive at the Chinese city on Sunday, Reuters reported, citing a US official who said that Beijing had pulled the plug on the visit shortly before it was set to take place.

The US Indo-Pacific Command has confirmed that the visit was derailed by China’s refusal to host the ship, according to the South China Morning Post.

The US Navy has not provided any details as to what prompted the refusal. The warship became the third US Navy vessel to have been barred from Chinese ports in little over two weeks. Earlier, the USS ‘Lake Erie’ guided-missile cruiser and the USS ‘Green Bay’ amphibious transport dock were blocked from docking at Hong Kong, which has been grappling with unrest since June.

Also on rt.com Beijing denies Hong Kong port visits by two US warships amid ongoing unrest

The protests, originally prompted by a now-suspended extradition bill, have been marred by violence, and saw the Trump administration openly meddling in the unrest. On Twitter, the US president expressed alarm that Chinese troops were allegedly moving towards the border with Hong Kong. He also voiced concerns about the Chinese government cracking down on protesters, calling on President Xi Jinping to meet with them.

While the US attempt at lecturing drew fire from Beijing, Trump brushed off the criticism, saying that he “can’t imagine why” someone would associate Washington with Hong Kong’s turmoil.

The Hong Kong issue has caused a further deterioration in relations between the US and China, which had already become strained amid a simmering trade row.

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