USS Wasp stops in Singapore after Beijing blocks Hong Kong port visit

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Sailors aboard the USS Wasp prepare to man the rails as the amphibious-assault ship arrives in Singapore, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018.  DANIEL BARKER/U.S. NAVY
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Sailors aboard the USS Wasp prepare to man the rails as the amphibious-assault ship arrives in Singapore, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. DANIEL BARKER/U.S. NAVY

USS Wasp stops in Singapore after Beijing blocks Hong Kong port visit

by: Christian Lopez | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: October 04, 2018

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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