A US Navy assault ship has sailed into Hong Kong harbour for a visit described as routine amid rising regional tensions.

The captain of the USS Makin Island, which carries columns of tanks and attack helicopters, said he was ready to "ensure peace in the region" if necessary amid a dispute between China and the Philippines over the resource-rich Scarborough Shoal islands. 

Dozens of US Navy ships visit Hong Kong every year, according to a press release on the US 7th Fleet website. But the latest visit was seen by some analysts as a show of force as the country tries to expand its Asia-Pacific influence.

Rob McBride reports from Hong Kong.

Source: Al Jazeera