China said Thursday it has decided to allow the US carrier USS Kitty Hawk to dock in Hong Kong for rest during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao said at a regular press conference: "Such a decision is out of humanitarian considerations, and decided on a case-by-case basis."
The decision was made in line with the principles of sovereignty, Liu said, declining to disclose the detailed process.
He did not explain why USS Kitty Hawk had originally been barred from entering the port.
The USS Kitty Hawk was to have arrived in Hong Kong on Wednesday to give its crew four days shore leave, reports said earlier.
The USS Kitty Hawk carrier, which was commissioned in 1961, is nearing the end of its service life and will return to the US in 2008 to be decommissioned. It is the Navy's oldest ship in active service and the only US aircraft carrier permanently deployed abroad.