November 29, 2007

United States and China diplomatic incidents

The United States said it expected China to explain why it turned a US warship away from Hong Kong, but played down the simmering dispute as "one small incident" in a sea of good relations. Beijing linked its decision to deny the USS Kitty Hawk a port-of-call stop to recent US arms sales to Taiwan and a public show of support for Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama which "disturbed and harmed" Sino-US ties.

Washington formally complained to China after a US aircraft carrier was denied entry for a Thanksgiving holiday stop last week that had drawn sailors' loved ones halfway around the world in hopes of a reunion. The first sign of trouble came November 20 when China refused to allow two US minesweepers -- the USS Patriot and the USS Guardian -- to enter Hong Kong for refuge from a tropical storm and to refuel. They refueled at sea and made it back to their home port in Sasebo, Japan without incident.

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