November 21, 2007
-- by Dave Johnson
A flotilla of U.S. warships carrying as many as 8,000 American sailors heading for a four-day Thanksgiving holiday visit to China's port of Hong Kong has been refused entry, the U.S. Navy said Thursday.U.S. aircraft carrier denied access to Hong Kong
The Kitty Hawk group and its crew of 8,000 U.S. airmen and sailors had been expected in Hong Kong on Wednesday, but will now spend the holiday on the South China Sea.
Hundred of relatives of crew members of the USS Kitty Hawk had flown to Hong Kong to celebrate Thanksgiving with their loved ones. Hong Kong has been a regular port of call for U.S. sailors on "R & R" (rest and recuperation) since the Vietnam War.
[. . .] The move by Beijing coincides with "airspace controls" on Wednesday which Xinhua news agency said affected the air travel plans of 7,000 people in south and east China.
The controls were introduced for "unspecified reasons."
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"Hong Kong has been a regular port of call for U.S. sailors on "R & R" (rest and recuperation) since the Vietnam War."
While that may have been true in the past, Hong Kong is now legally a part of the People's Republic of China and is largely subject to Chinese laws and regulations. It would have been far better for the State Dep't to contact Chinese authorities to make certain that Hong Kong would be open to US service personnel (and their families) before the US Navy just made these plans. After all, don't the Chinese have the same right to control who comes into their country that so many American CONservatives demand for the US?
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