USS Wasp stops in Singapore after Beijing blocks Hong Kong port visit
The USS Wasp arrived in Singapore on Tuesday, a week after its strike group of 2,200 sailors and Marines were denied a port visit to Hong Kong by Beijing.
The Sasebo, Japan-based Wasp — accompanied by the landing dock ship USS Ashland and members of the Okinawa-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit — have been patrolling the Western Pacific since early August.
The Wasp’s commander, Capt. Colby Howard, said the sailors and Marines were “very excited for some well-deserved time ashore after two very successful months” at sea, a Navy statement said.
Late last month, China turned down a U.S. request for the group to stop in Hong Kong in October. The denial came a day after 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of annual Chinese imports went into effect. The U.S. also had recently issued sanctions on China after discovering the country had bought fighter jets from Russia and a surface-to-air missile system, and in May disinvited China from participating in its large-scale multinational Rim of the Pacific exercise.
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