China nixes U.S. warship port visit, recalls admiral from US

Blanche Robertson
September 26, 2018

"These are core values we share with Hong Kong, and that must be vigorously protected", added Pompeo who is in NY for the annual United Nations General Assembly.

The sanctions, however, infuriated officials in Beijing and drew immediate calls for the U.S.to rescind the measure.

The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, which carries the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, was expected to visit the former British colony next month, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing has lodged stern complaints with Washington over the action, which triggers a ban on entering the US, forbids conducting transactions with the USA financial system and forces the blocking of all property and interests in property within US jurisdiction.

Beijing has denied a USA port visit to Hong Kong amid trade tensions and sanctions, according to a Tuesday Wall Street Journal report.

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The sanctions, along with the Trump administration's recent implementation of $250 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, have created a sharp deterioration in the relationship between Washington and Beijing.

Tensions, however, extend well beyond economic exchanges and into military ties.

On Saturday, China summoned the USA ambassador in Beijing and postponed joint military talks in protest against a US decision to sanction a Chinese military agency and its director for buying Russian fighter jets and a surface-to-air missile system. China expressed "outrage" and accused the United States of trying to constrain its military power. "We strongly urge the U.S.to immediately correct its mistakes and revoke the so-called sanctions".

Beijing responded by summoning the USA ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, to lodge an official protest, while the Chinese military expressed "strong indignation and resolute opposition" to the sanctions. Meanwhile, China's defence ministry recalled Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong, cancelling a scheduled meeting with his USA counterpart, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, Reuters reported.

Further inflaming tensions, the US State Department said on Monday it was set to approve a US$330 million sale of military aviation parts to the self-governing island of Taiwan. Chinese state media strongly urged the U.S. to cancel the deal and suspend military-to-military relations with Taiwan, which Beijing considers a separatist province.

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