A US aircraft carrier and three warships will visit Hong Kong on Wednesday, amid an ongoing US-China trade war.

Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville, and Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Benfold will arrive on Wednesday morning, according to the Hong Kong Marine Department.

China refused an application to allow amphibious assault ship USS Wasp to enter Hong Kong in October without giving an explanation. The warship then stopped in Singapore.

USS Ronald Reagan
USS Ronald Reagan. Photo: US Navy.

In April 2016, China denied a request for a US carrier strike group led by the Nimitz-class USS John C. Stennis to visit Hong Kong.

Both denials were made as tensions heightened between the US and China. The 2016 and 2018 rejections were reportedly linked to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, and the US decision to place sanctions on China’s military respectively.

USS Ronald Reagan, which visited Hong Kong in October last year, is expected to arrive at the China Merchants Pier in Kennedy Town on Wednesday.

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Last week, strike groups from the Yokosuka-based USS Ronald Reagan and the Washington-based USS John C. Stennis were conducting operations in international waters as part of a dual carrier strike force exercise in the Philippine Sea.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.