U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis was recently barred from entering the Hong Kong port for a regular port call.
Associated Press reported Gabrielle Price, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman, saying that the Department was recently informed about Chinese officials denying a request for the visit of USS John C. Stennis and the ship’s carrier strike group to Hong Kong.
This event was the latest in a series of incidents that add tension to the South China Sea dispute. Just two weeks ago, the same carrier was visited by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter while it was in the South China Sea two weeks ago.
In previous instances, U.S. Navy destroyers’ patrols in the South China Sea were deemed as provocations by Chinese defense officials. In several instances, the Chinese claimed the ships had sailed within Chinese territorial waters.