Chinese officials, who denied access to the aircraft carrier, did not officially explained the reasons for their refusal. The situation has been elucidated by Chinese state media.
On April 30, News Agency of China 'Xinhua' published an article entitled 'American militaries should not be surprised that 'John K. Stennis' was denied access to Hong Kong'. The authors encouraged Americans to ponder on their actions, which specifically made them unwelcome guests.
The reason for their refusal was mentioned in the article; however, it was done in a veiled manner typical of 'Xinhua'. 'Let’s consider in what 'Stennis' has been recently involved,' – 'Xinhua' writes, and then lists a range of joint military exercises with South Korea and Philippines.
'It was a small punishment to the US military for their provocations,' the Chinese media asserted, allegedly citing some unidentified Chinese soldier.
American aircraft carriers make a stop in Hong Kong from time to time without any impediments. However, the recent incident is not the first refusal. In 2007, China rejected visits of two American naval vessels to Hong Kong after the United States sold arms to Taiwan.
The United States carrier battle group has been the subject of much controversy in China before its arrival in Hong Kong. Prior to that, the flotilla carried out a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea. Despite the fact that this operation conformed to international laws, the main problem is that China has announced its territorial claims over almost the entire South China Sea, and thus builds military bases there.
The official website of the State Council of China – china.com – reprinted the provocative post of some blogger, who more than likely has no relation to Chinese military forces. If the US aircraft manifests aggression, its crew 'will rest in peace without graves', becoming a target for the second artillery corps armed with tactical and strategic missiles, the post says.
In the same article, the United States carrier battle group was compared to a “self-conceited teacher”, who will never dare to give China a good lesson. The authors ironically added that China was 'glad' about the arrival of the aircraft carrier because it would allow studying its tactical movements and reactions.
For instance, China could direct several fighter aircrafts against the carrier battle group to take a look at its reaction, the article says. Chinese reconnaissance ships would collect signals, and it would be a valuable material for Chinese armed forces.
Therefore, the presence of the aircraft carrier provides 'free lessons for China', the article concludes.
Nevertheless, they did not let the warship enter the Hong Kong port for a more detailed 'investigation'.