China denies US Navy ship visits to Hong Kong amid unrest

Amphibious transport USS Green Bay and Cruiser USS Lake Erie were scheduled to visit Hong Kong in September

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The USS Green Bay

The USS Green Bay (Wikimedia Commons photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say the Chinese government has denied requests for two U.S. Navy ships to make port visits to Hong Kong amid civil unrest.

Cmdr. Nate Christensen, deputy spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said Tuesday said the USS Green Bay had been scheduled to visit Hong Kong on Aug. 17 and the USS Lake Erie was scheduled to visit in September.

Christensen said it was up to China to say why it denied the requests.

He said the U.S. Navy expects port visits to Hong Kong to resume. The last Navy ship to visit was the USS Blue Ridge in April 2019.

Riot police clashed briefly with pro-democracy protesters at Hong Kong’s airport Tuesday on a second day of demonstrations that caused mass cancellations and disruptions.