WASHINGTON — U.S. officials say the Chinese government has denied requests for two U.S. Navy ships to make port visits to Hong Kong amid civil unrest.

Cmdr. Nate Christensen, deputy spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, said Tuesday said the amphibious transport dock ship Green Bay had been scheduled to visit Hong Kong on Aug. 17 and the guided-missile cruiser Lake Erie was scheduled to visit in September.

Christensen said it was up to China to say why it denied the requests.

The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser Lake Erie arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on June 11, 2017. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/Navy)
The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser Lake Erie arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on June 11, 2017. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Fulton/Navy)

He said the U.S. Navy expects port visits to Hong Kong to resume. The last Navy ship to visit was the 7th Fleet’s flagship Blue Ridge in April 2019.

Riot police clashed briefly with pro-democracy protesters at Hong Kong’s airport Tuesday on a second day of demonstrations that caused mass cancellations and disruptions.