November 23, 2007

China Gives No Thanks To Kitty Hawk

For almost half a century the USS Kitty Hawk, permanently based in Asia, patrols the waters of the South and East China seas lest they become a Chinese “Mediterranean”. In a surprise move, China refused a Hong Kong port of call arranged at extensive US taxpayer expense to reunite sailors with their progeny for the American Thanksgiving holiday. Admiral Timothy Keating told US newspapers he was ‘perplexed’ that Beijing was not up on important holidays and will confer with top brass over how to respond to the affront.

The decision occurred while Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang is in Beijing taking orders from his superiors. Was Tsang’s absence a factor? Could it be that Beijing feared the arrival of a fully armed US aircraft carrier in a special municipality without its de facto head of state? Or was it a display for Tsang’s benefit to let Hong Kong know that Beijing is looking after their safety now?

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