BEIJING -- China reversed its position Thursday and said the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk would be allowed to dock in Hong Kong for the Thanksgiving holiday.
At a regular Beijing news conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said issues of sovereignty had been involved in reversing the decision, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
"Such a decision is out of humanitarian considerations, and decided on a case-by-case basis," Liu said.
The carrier and five supporting vessels were originally scheduled to dock Wednesday to give the crew of 8,000 four days shore leave for the holiday.
Liu gave no explanation behind the original refusal to allow the ship in, Xinhua said.
The Kitty Hawk is the Navy's oldest ship in active service. It was commissioned in 1961 and will return to the United States next year to be decommissioned.
Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.