Friday, November 23, 2007

Warship Traffic

China reversed a decision on Thursday to block a United States aircraft carrier from making a four-day port call in Hong Kong, but the change of heart by Beijing officials came too late to stop the ship from returning to its base in Japan and missing families who had flown to Hong Kong to celebrate Thanksgiving.


The ships, with 8,000 crew members, were due in Hong Kong on Wednesday for a four-day visit.

Some crew members were planning to join family members who had flown in from the United States, Japan and the Philippines.

(U.S. Warship Misses Thanksgiving in Hong Kong. By Donald Greenless, The New York Times)

Welcome to China! Isn't that a nightmare - to look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with your loved ones and being treated like this? Btw, define "some" in "some crew members" here - or see the report by Associated Press:

Hundreds of sailors' families had flown to the city to spend the holiday with their loved ones, while dozens of Americans living in Hong Kong had prepared turkey dinners for those without visiting relatives.

"Hundreds" strikes me as being a little bit more than "some", no? Taking into account that a Thanksgiving feast needs some preparation, the dozens expats mentioned here aren't too happy either, I suppose.

Another AP report has more (wikipedia link added):

''It's hard to put any kind of positive spin on this,'' Adm. Timothy Keating told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Thursday while flying back to the U.S. after visiting troops in Iraq. ''I'm perplexed and concerned.''

I also can't put any kind of positive spin on this, and concern is due, since it was the second time in a week that China refused to let U.S. Navy ships into the port.

Just imagine what would happen if U.S. authorities would cancel a flight to China shortly before Mid-Autumn Festival! Wouldn't there be some outraged comments from Chinese officials accusing "the USA" of "hurting the feelings of all Chinese people"? For sure.

Oh, and in the meanwhile:

A warship sailed Wednesday for the first port visit by the Chinese Navy to Japan since the end of World War II, Chinese state media reported.


The warship, the guided-missile destroyer Shenzhen, left its home port in Guangdong Province and is to arrive Nov. 28 for a four-day visit to Japan at the invitation of the Japanese Navy, according to Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency.


(Chinese Warship Visits Japan. By David Lague, The New York Times)

They'll get a warmer welcome, I presume.

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