28, August 2019
China has reportedly denied a US navy warship entry to its port city of Qingdao, in the second such move this month, which comes amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington.
A US military official told Reuters on the condition of anonymity on Tuesday that a US destroyer was supposed to visit Qingdao on Sunday but China denied a request for the visit.
Asked why the US request was denied, the official said the question should be directed to Beijing.
China has yet to comment on the report.
In a similar move this month, China denied two US Navy ships entry to Hong Kong.
The US official said American warships had occasionally made visits to China, most recently in 2017.
The last US warship to have visited Qingdao was the destroyer Benfold, which docked at a Chinese port in 2016.
China has long been engaged in a dispute with Washington in the East and South China Seas, over which it claims sovereignty. The US usually dispatches its warships and warplanes to the waters as part of patrols it describes as “freedom of navigation” and without seeking an authorization from Beijing.
The two sides are also locked in a trade war, which started when the administration of US President Donald Trump imposed unusually high tariffs on imported goods from China after he took office.
Trump claimed on Monday that there were hopes for a deal with Beijing to de-escalate the dispute.
He said that Chinese officials had requested to return back to the negotiation table in a telephone conversation with “our top people.” China, however, denied the claim.