US Navy ships denied Hong Kong port visits amidst protests

Two US Navy ships were not allowed to visit Hong Kong in the wake of anti-government protests in the Chinese special administrative region.

This was confirmed to USNI News by a US Pacific Fleet spokesman who said that Chinese officials did not allow amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD-20) and cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG-70) to visit Hong Kong.

The exact dates of the planned visits were not specified.

Protests in Hong Kong started early June as protesters gathered to oppose a controversial extradition bill.

USS Green Bay is part of the Wasp amphibious ready group which took part in the US-Australian bilateral exercise Talisman Sabre from late June to early August.

This is not the first time US Navy ships have been denied approvals to visit the semi-autonomous region. In October 2018, USS Wasp was not allowed to visit in the wake of the Chinese-US trade war and an announced $330 million sale of military equipment to Taiwan.

In 2016, aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis was barred from visiting Hong Kong as China accused the US of displaying force in the disputed South China Sea.

Photo: US Navy photo of amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) conducting a replenishment-at-sea with the USS Ashland (LSD 48) and the replenishment oiler USNS Rappahannock during Talisman Sabre 2019.