China has rejected requests for two US Navy warships to visit Hong Kong as massive, week-long protests continue to amuse the former British colony, a US defense official told Fox News. Erie was scheduled for port visits to Hong Kong this Saturday and September, respectively, but the Chinese government has denied the requests, said Cmdr, assistant spokesman for the US Pacific Fleet. Nate Christensen said Tuesday.
"The US Navy has a long history of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect them to continue," Christensen said. "We are referring you to the Chinese government for more information on why they declined the request."
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Green Bay is an amphibious transport docking vessel; its home port is located in Japan. TheLake Erie is a guided missile cruiser based in San Diego.
The Chinese government has not disclosed why it denied the navy's request, but this would not be the first time it rejected a port visit to Hong Kong.
China rejected a US request for USS Wasp to visit Hong Kong in September 2018 over escalating US-China trade tensions.
The last US warship to visit Hong Kong was the USS Blue Ridge last April.
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Protests have been going on in the Hong Kong region for more than two months now, as tens of thousands demand that Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam resign and the government tighten legislation that would allow criminal suspects to extradite to China . The fear is that the suspects on the mainland would face unfair trials and torture.
Protesters also demand an independent probe into the alleged abuse of power by the police.
Protesters closed Hong Kong International Airport for the second day in a row on Tuesday. All flights were canceled on Monday when protesters occupied the main terminal, and flights were canceled again Tuesday.
The airport is one of the world's busiest, and the closure is said to have a major impact on the tourism industry there.
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"Many are blaming me and the United States for the problems that are going on in Hong Kong. I can't imagine why?" He wrote.
The President later tweeted, "Our intelligence has informed us that the Chinese government is moving troops to the border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe," citing the conflicts between police and pro-democracy demonstrators.
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Chinese authorities have resembled the "terrorism" protests.
Fox News & # 39; Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.