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    'They Said No': China Denies US Aircraft Carrier Entry to Hong Kong

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    Chinese authorities did not allow the US aircraft carrier John Stennis to make a stop-over at the Hong Kong port, a US consulate official told the South China Morning Post newspaper on Friday.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) — The warship requested a port call permit early Thursday but was denied entry.

    "[They] said ‘no’ to the carrier," the US official told the South China Morning Post newspaper on condition of anonymity.

    According to the outlet, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that port calls by US warships had to be approved on a case-by-case basis "in accordance with sovereignty principles."

    The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs notified the United States that the Stennis would not be permitted to make a scheduled port call in Hong Kong next week, Darragh Paradiso, a spokesperson for the US Consulate General in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg News.

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited the ship last month in a move he said was intended to demonstrate the commitment by the United States to regional security and the alliance with the Philippines.

    The USS John Stennis and its strike group have been on a patrol mission in the South China Sea, where China has territorial disputes with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

    China views US aid to the Philippines as a threat to its own aspirations in the region. Beijing claims nearly all of the South China Sea as its territory, but several countries in the region dispute those claims.

    On Monday, Chinese media reported that Beijing intends to start land reclamation activities on the South China Sea sand banks before the end of the year.

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    aircraft carrier, Hong Kong, China, United States
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