THE Chinese government has turned down a U.S. aircraft carrier’s bid to dock in Hong Kong, according to reports on Friday.
The U.S. State Department said China denied the request from the U.S. aircraft carrier recently.
The refusal appears to be a sign of mounting tension in the disputed South China Sea.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter and his Philippine counterpart visited the carrier, USS John C. Stennis, in those waters two weeks ago, a move that irked Beijing.
Gabrielle Price, spokeswoman for East Asia, says Friday the U.S. has a long record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, including a current visit by the USS Blue Ridge.
The Chinese Embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted China’s Foreign Ministry as saying that port calls were examined on a “case by case basis.”
Additional Reporting by Associated Press