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U.S. — China tensions seeping into military arena

The USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship comparable to a baby aircraft carrier, with a crew of more than 1,000 sailors, was scheduled to make a port call in Hong Kong next month according to US officials.

“The Chinese government did not approve a request for a U.S. port visit to Hong Kong by the USS Wasp,” Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon Spokesman, said in a brief statement. “We have a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect that will continue.”

Relations between Beijing and the US have been strained as the trade war has ratcheted up, but tensions were brought to a head when a $330 million arms deal with Taiwan was announced last week by the Pentagon. The deal involved spare parts for F-16 fighter jets and other equipment and must be finalized by U.S. companies.

The deal “gravely violated the fundamental principles of international law and relations” and is damaging to China’s sovereignty and security, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a news briefing. He called Taiwan “an inalienable part of Chinese territory.”

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has refused to bow to Beijing's demand to recognise the is...

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has refused to bow to Beijing's demand to recognise the island as part of 'one China'

The bigger issues
The Associated Press reports the last time such a denial occurred was 2016, amidst friction over the South China Sea. But the issue today is a lot more complicated, according to Bloomberg. Last week, the Trump administration enacted new tariffs against China covering another $200 billion of its imports.

And in an effort to penalize Russia for election interference, the Trump administration last week sanctioned China’s Equipment Development Department and its director over the purchase of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and S-400 surface-to-air missile systems.

As for China’s response, “This is a tit-for-tat response, as China and Russia are really very annoyed about it,” a senior fellow with a Singapore-based institute tells Bloomberg. Beijing has also axed a high-level military meeting between Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong, who commands the People’s Liberation Army Navy, and his US counterpart, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson.

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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