Friday, November 30, 2007
An AFP report claims that the US pressured Japan to cancel a scheduled tour of an Aegis-equipped warship for visiting Chinese sailors. The ostensible reason was concern that the Chinese might manage to glean some useful information about the cutting edge defense technology. But it's hard not to wonder if it doesn't have something to do with China's recent refusal to grant American vessels entry to Hong Kong harbor.
Japan denied that there was any American pressure, claiming the reason for the cancellation was that the ship was not in port. The visit by the Chinese destroyer is the first port call of the Communist Chinese navy in Japan.
Update: Add another navy vessel to the list of American ships to which China has refused to grant entry to Hong Kong harbor. The Reuben James' request for a New Year's Eve visit was denied at the same time that the Kitty Hawk was turned away last week. This little naval protocol spat seems to be rising to the level of a "perplexing" diplomatic incident.