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Denying US Carrier Entry to Hong Kong Not Major Change in China Policy

© Flickr / DVIDSHUBUSS John C. Stennis
USS John C. Stennis - Sputnik International
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that he can't speak about the reasons for China's decision to deny US aircraft carrier John C. Stennis entry to a port in Hong Kong.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The decision by China to deny US aircraft carrier John C. Stennis entry to a port in Hong Kong does not seem to resemble a major change Beijing’s policy, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a briefing on Monday.

"It does not appear to be a significant change in policy that they are administering… but I can’t speak to what the Chinese government may have had in mind by denying this request," Earnest stated.

U.S. Navy ships are underway as part of a group sail with the John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG). Group sails provide an opportunity for crews to focus on teamwork, communication and hone skills Sailors need when executing the nation's maritime strategy - Sputnik International
US ‘Playing’ in China Maritime Standoff, Not Backing Free Navigation
On Friday, China denied the US aircraft carrier John C. Stennis entry to a port in Hong Kong amid increased tensions between the two countries over Beijing’s activities in the South China Sea.

The Stennis and its strike group have been on a patrol mission in the South China Sea, most of which China claims as its territory.

Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines dispute China’s claims on particular island chains in the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands, while the United States has encouraged countries to practice freedom of navigation there.

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