quote of the week

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 February, 2010, 12:00am

'We've been sent a clear message. But is not the end of the world. The fact that we have still been allowed in here is probably the more important symbol. These visits are important for the relationship, and for our sailors, and I think that is understood by Beijing.'

A US official shares his thoughts after the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier arrived in Hong Kong last Thursday


None of the local PLA chiefs accepted offers to visit the US carrier during its four-day stop in Hong Kong. None went to the traditional welcome reception on Thursday.

So for the US official the message is 'clear'. Beijing is allowing the US carrier to anchor in Hong Kong but nothing more.

The visit comes amid tensions between the US and Beijing. Washington has confirmed the US will sell arms to Taiwan, harming the hopes of military co-operation between the China and the US.

President Barack Obama also met the Dalai Lama at the White House last week.