U.S. warships temporarily denied entry to Hong Kong

Thursday, November 22, 2007

USS Kitty Hawk CV-63

The United States aircraft-carrier USS Kitty Hawk CV-63, along with the other ships that comprise the carrier-group, were scheduled to make a port visit to Hong Kong on the November 21 for the Thanksgiving holiday. However, China initially denied entry to Hong Kong. After some publicity, China reversed its position and allowed the Kitty Hawk to dock.

According to the Financial Times, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a reversal of the decision on Thursday. The Ministry gave no explanation for the initial refusal but said that "We have decided to allow the Kitty Hawk strike group to stay in Hong Kong during Thanksgiving, and it is a decision out of humanitarian consideration only."

The decision had led to some chaos, as American families had arrived in Hong Kong only to be informed that they would not be able to meet with their family members serving on the Kitty Hawk and then needed to again be informed when the decision was reversed.

The Kitty Hawk has been stationed in the Pacific since the early 1960s and has visited Hong Kong multiple times.