Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Amid the ongoing trade conflict between Washington and Beijing, U.S. officials said Tuesday China has denied a request for a U.S. Navy warship to make a port call at a port in Hong Kong next month.
The amphibious assault ship was scheduled to arrive at the Hong Kong port next month, U.S. military officials said Monday.
"The Chinese government did not approve a request for a port visit to Hong Kong by the USS Wasp," the U.S. Consulate said Tuesday. "We have a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect that to continue."
The ship is part of a group based in Japan and operating in the Indo-Pacific region.
The decision will impact hundreds of service members who've been at sea since August on the Wasp, which can hold up to 1,600 people.
China's foreign ministry didn't comment on the refusal and said only that port visits are approved on a case-by-case basis.
However, tensions between the countries are high as the trade war escalates.
Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen, who led the last round of trade talks for the Chinese delegation to Washington last month, said Tuesday the United States must remove the "knife at its neck," before it will agree to more trade talks.
Monday, China called off planned trade talks with U.S. officials as the latest round of retaliatory tariffs went into effect. The third round on Chinese goods entering the United States included 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products.
In addition to denying Hong Kong port call, China recalled Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong from a visit to the United States to meet with a U.S. counterpart, Chief of Naval Admiral John Richardson, at the International Seapower Symposium, a global gathering of military officials at Naval War College in Rhode Island.
During another period of heightened tensions between the countries in 2016 over the South China Sea, China denied a U.S. request for its carrier strike group led by USS John C. Stennis to visit Hong Kong.