China Blocks US Request To Dock In Hong Kong In Wake Of Trump Tariffs

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Just last week, Trump made headlines for imposing a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods. And this week, China has officially denied a request from the U.S. to use a Hong Kong port. Tensions are clearly rising between the two nations…so is Trump’s plan working now?

The USS Wasp is scheduled to make a port of call in Hong Kong in October, according to a diplomatic source cited by NBC News. Right now, it looks as though the schedule is going to have to change.

According to a spokesperson for the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong, “the Chinese government did not approve a request for a U.S. port visit to Hong Kong by the USS Wasp.”

The USS Wasp is currently operating in the East China Sea, according to Business Insider. It carries the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

However, the U.S. remains optimistic about relations with China and the availability of using Hong Kong. “We have a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect that to continue,” the spokesperson said.

“For requests for U.S. military ships to visit Hong Kong, China has always carried out approvals case by case, in accordance with the principle of sovereignty and the detailed situation,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang.

This is not the first time China has denied the U.S. use of Hong Kong ports. The country previously denied a 2016 request for a U.S. carrier strike group to visit Hong Kong.

Trump’s tariff put $250 billion in taxes on Chinese imports, which prompted China to respond with $60 million in tariffs of their own. Recently, a Chinese official said that China cannot talk about ending the trade dispute while the U.S. “holds a knife” to Beijing’s neck through the tariffs.

Chinese state media has also publicly called for the U.S. to cancel an arms deal with Taiwan. The $330 million deal will improve Taiwan’s air combat capabilities. China has urged the U.S. to end military relations with Taiwan altogether.

The arms sale to Taiwan will include parts for F-16 fighter planes and other military aircraft, according to Reuters.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security and defensive capability of the recipient, which has been and continues to be an important force for political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region,” said the Pentagon Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

Taiwan is a self-governing country, though China claims Taiwan as its territory. It serves as another point of contention between the U.S. and China. Geng Shuang has called the sale a serious breach of international law.