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Published on Dec 28, 2011
The US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrived in Hong Kong on Tuesday on a scheduled visit to the territory. The ship departed from San Diego last month with more than five thousand sailors.
The American aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson along with three escort ships, docked in Hong Kong for a three-day port of call on Tuesday.
The scheduled visit comes after the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, but the Commander of Carrier Strike Group 1 denied the deployment was connected to it.
The Commander commented on the Chinese military's first aircraft carrier, which has embarked on sea trials since August this year.
[Rear Admiral Thomas K. Shannon, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 1]: "We certainly take an interest in the developing military capability of any nation anywhere we operate. We do pay attention and of course it is of interest. We respect any nation's right to develop their military capability and we would only hope that it is done in a transparent way and that it is done in a way that contributes to stability and security in any region."
The Chinese regime claims a large part of the South China Sea, and has been involved in maritime conflicts with several Southeast Asian nations.
When asked to comment on the South China Sea disputes, the Commander said they should go through diplomatic channels.
[Rear Admiral Thomas K. Shannon, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 1]: "My comment is that those differences should be handled by diplomatic channels. Our interest is in stability, freedom of maneuver, respect for law and the unimpeded commerce in that region. But again, differences in the South China Sea are best handled through the diplomats."
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is one of the Nimitz-class supercarriers. With the length of three football fields, the ship is too big to enter Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor.