“The aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk’s Thanksgiving visit to Hong Kong is scuttled, leaving sailors at sea and their visiting families on land. But Beijing’s point is unclear.” From the Los Angeles Times:
China’s decision to block the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk from a long-planned Thanksgiving visit to Hong Kong, before relenting 24 hours later “on humanitarian grounds,” had all the markings of a diplomatic slap in the face, analysts say. It just wasn’t terribly clear whose face it was aimed at.
Word spread Wednesday afternoon that China’s Foreign Ministry had suddenly and inexplicably blocked a five-day visit by the giant vessel and its strike group, despite prior approval and weeks of planning.
A day later, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told journalists that Beijing would relent, saying its change of heart was “a decision out of humanitarian consideration only.” Repeated efforts by foreign reporters to get him to explain the reversal failed. [Full Text]
[Image source: AP.com]
Read also: Understanding the PLA’s Thanksgiving Message from the China Confidential blog.