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The US Navy assault ship, the USS Makin Island, arrives to dock in Hong Kong on Friday, May 25th. The ship joins the amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans, which arrived two days earlier.
The visit comes amid a seven-week stand off between Chinese forces and the Philippines over the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.
China, the Philippines and several other countries all have competing territorial claims in the sea, which carries 5 trillion dollars worth of ship bourn trade annually and boasts 10 percent of global fish recourses. The US also claims national interests in the South China Sea, and recently took part in military exercise with the Philippines, to the anger of the Chinese regime.
The USS Makin Island wasn't involved in these exercises, but Captain Pringle says the ship stands ready to ensure peace in the region.
[Captain Cedric Pringle, Commanding Officer]:
"The navy's position is consistent with the U.S. position. Our policy is that we hope that the claims involved and the claimants involved resolve them peacefully."
Reporter: "and if they don't? "
"Well, we're always obligated to ensure peace and stability throughout the region."
Despite the looming tensions in the region, some crewmembers with connections to Hong Kong are taking time to relax.
[Sergeant Kong, US Navy]:
"But I grew up in the United States, for so many years not being back for 15 or 16 years. So now that I'm finally back, I get to see my grandmother, my uncle, my aunt and I miss them very much. So it's a pleasure to be here and love Hong Kong."
The USS Makin Island was commissioned in 2009. The ship has a primary mission of deploying marine landing forces and a secondary mission of sea control and power projection. It is currently deployed as part of the US Navy's 7th fleet.