Harris rebukes China in Indo-Pacific major speech: US Vice President Kamala Harris has strongly condemned China for infiltrating the South China Sea, warning that its actions are “forced” and “intimidating” and reaffirming that the US will support its allies in the region against Beijing’s advances.
“We know that Beijing continues to force, intimidate and claim the vast majority in the South China Sea,” she said in a major foreign policy address in Singapore on Tuesday. Pacific “Beijing’s actions continue to undermine the rule of law and threaten the sovereignty of nations.”
Harris, who has been swayed for days a week in Southeast Asia, declared that the United States “stands with our allies and our allies” in the face of threats from China.
The speech sought to reaffirm US commitment to support its allies in an area of increasing importance to the Biden Administration, which has made China’s counterproductive focus on its foreign policy around the world. It came at a critical time for the United States, as the Biden administration seeks to further strengthen its axis towards Asia, but ended up in chaos with America’s decades-long focus on the Middle East’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Harris stressed the change, calling the Indo-Pacific “very important for the security and prosperity of our country.” Although the United States is focused on closing its Afghanistan engagement by evacuating as many people as possible, it is imperative that “as we address the developments in one region, our interests in other regions, including this one, should be taken into account.” ”
Her rebuke of Beijing made sharp remarks against the American enemy. But Harris said America wants more engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, not just confronting China, but being careful to emphasize that “the optimistic outlook we have for our partnership and partnership in this area” is advancing. Emphasizing Singapore’s firm neutrality in the US-China dispute, Harris also confirmed that the US was looking to “make anyone choose between countries”.
Speaking in a country that serves as an anchor for the U.S. naval presence in Southeast Asia, Harris stressed the importance of the region for U.S. defense. She noted that Southeast Asia represents America’s fourth-largest export market, and stressed the important US economic ties there.
On Monday, Harris told sailors aboard a U.S. warship at the Changi Naval Base in Singapore that “much of the 21st-century history will be written about this area” and that their work to protect the area was crucial.
“It is important for us to stand united with our allies and our partners in Southeast Asia in the defense of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” she said.
Harris also met with Singaporean President Halimah Jacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday. The Vice President’s Office announced a number of agreements at that meeting aimed at combating cyber threats, tackling climate change, tackling the COVID-19 epidemic, and reducing supply chain problems.
After her speech on Tuesday, Harris discussed the roundtable with businessmen on supply chain issues. Later, she plans to travel to Vietnam, where she will meet with top officials on Wednesday.
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President Joe Biden himself has repeatedly reiterated his focus on China as one of America’s main adversaries. In recent months, his administration has expanded to the Indo-Pacific region, with both Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Austin visiting the region in the spring and summer. Foreign Secretary Anthony Blinken also held several virtual meetings with Southeast Asian officials earlier this month.
The chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, however, complicated the message of support for the region, raising questions about U.S. commitment to its allies. Biden said last week that indefinite engagement would benefit China and Russia as “true strategic competitors” while China seized violent images from the move to blame America for its engagement.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Wang Wenbin said Monday that the United States had committed “unethical and dishonest acts” in Afghanistan and called on the country to help rebuild.
“The United States is the root cause and the biggest external factor in the Afghan problem,” Wenbin said. “It’s not like that.”
But Harris, speaking at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Lee on Monday, said her presence in the country, along with agreements on the great cooperation that Biden Administration has pursued with Indo-Pacific countries, “speaks highly of the integrity” of the United States’ relations around the world on a number of issues. “