Harris accuses China of coercion and intimidation in the South China Sea


Vice President Kamala Harris called on Beijing on August 24 in a speech on US foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific region for undermining international rule-based order in the South China Sea.

She gave a speech in Singapore. This is the first destination for a visit to Southeast Asia, including a trip to Vietnam. Her visit has been targeted by Chinese Communist actors’ promotional campaigns in hopes of persuading countries to consider the United States to be an unreliable ally based on the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. I will come sometimes.

“We know that Beijing continues to extort, intimidate and insist on much of the South China Sea,” said Harris, who said China’s allegations in the conflict sea were “illegal” in a 2016 international ruling. He added that it is considered. Refused to claim Beijing’s territory.

“Beijing’s actions continue to undermine the rule-based order and threaten the sovereignty of the state,” she said.

Harris sought to reassure like-minded nations in the region by saying that the United States “stands with our allies and our partners” in the face of China’s threat.

China has sought to force other countries in the region to deny access to the rich fishing grounds of conflict seas. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all face territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.

In July last year, more than 12 boats on board Vietnamese fishing boats were forced to fly outboard after the boat sank. Body blow By a Chinese ship. In January, Filipino fishermen I was blocked From a voyage to a fishing spot near an island managed by Manila by the China Coast Guard.

China Coast Guard ship preparing to anchor
A China Coast Guard vessel is preparing to berth at the Port of Manila for a port call on January 14, 2020. (AFP via Getty Images)

In March, more than 200 Chinese vessels, believed to be on board Beijing’s maritime militia, anchored at Whitson Reef, one of the coral reefs, islands and atolls in the South China Sea.

Harris said the United States supported the vision and promised to return to the “free and open Indo-Pacific,” which includes freedom at sea, unhindered commerce, and the promotion of human rights.

“Now we are facing a threat to that order, so I am here to reaffirm our commitment to that vision,” Harris said.

She also talked about how Washington is trying to partner with countries in the region.

She explained: “Our involvement in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific is not against any country, nor is it designed for everyone to choose a country.

“Instead, our involvement is to advance our optimistic vision for participation and partnership in the region,” she added.

China’s promotional campaign, which began after the Taliban swiftly hijacked Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, continued unabated during Harris’ trip. China’s state-owned CGTN, the overseas division of China’s broadcasting station CCTV, released an opinion piece on August 23, saying, “If you trust the United States too much, it seems inevitable that you will be abandoned.”

Opinion pieces also criticized Harris for not being able to “save to tanking US trust” on her trip.

In an article published on August 24, China’s hawk state media Global Times ridiculed Harris’ desire to strengthen bilateral relations with Vietnam, with such a goal “hope.” “Wishful thinking”.

Harris trip To Vietnam on August 24th for a 3-day visit. She plans to hold a round table meeting with business leaders before traveling to Vietnam.

After Harris gave a speech at Singapore Gardens near Baywaterfront Park, three senior US officials participated in a panel discussion hosted by Singapore’s Foreign Ministry Ambassador Chang Heng Chi. After what happened in Afghanistan, Mr. Chan asked three panelists that Washington would “would it be more difficult to persuade the country to cooperate” with the United States.

“I don’t think it’s accurate to suggest that Afghanistan somehow indicates that the United States isn’t a trusted partner in Afghanistan,” said Harris National Security Adviser Phil Gordon for the past two decades. He pointed out the efforts of the United States.

Phil added that President Joe Biden “decided to withdraw from Afghanistan so that the United States could” pursue our interests and focus on what is important to us. “

Kin Moi, a senior official at the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the State Department, said the United States has committed to the Indo-Pacific and will continue to do so, answering Chan’s question.

“We are also considering these future challenges to create more opportunities, and I think you will see them in the future,” Moi said.

Frank Fang

Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers news in China and Taiwan. He holds a master’s degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.