Harris concludes his visit to Vietnam by calling on Beijing to threaten rule-based order

At a press conference just hours before leaving for the United States, US Vice President Kamala Harris repeatedly criticized Beijing for undermining the rule-based international order on August 26.

However, she did not provide details on what actions the Biden administration could take against Taiwan to fend off Beijing’s invasion of the South China Sea.

“I believe this trip marks the beginning of the next chapter in US-Vietnam relations,” Harris said. She arrived in Vietnam on Tuesday night after completing a three-day visit to Singapore.

“Through our visit, we also reaffirmed our commitment to our common vision for the Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

“And we will continue to work with Vietnam to counter the threat to freedom of navigation and the rule-based international order,” she added.

Harris has spoken openly to Beijing throughout her trip to Asia. She spoke in Singapore on Tuesday, saying Beijing “continues to extort, threaten and insist on much of the South China Sea.”

At a bilateral meeting with the Vietnamese president on Wednesday, Harris said he needed to “pressure” Beijing and “challenge bullying” in the South China Sea. She also talked about upgrading bilateral relations to a “strategic partnership.”

Harris’ trip to Asia aims to show US commitment to the region while deepening relations between Singapore and Vietnam, and came when the Chinese administration was trying to undermine US leadership around the world. .. The administration has seized the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan to launch an aggressive propaganda campaign to classify the United States as an unreliable ally.

China’s hawkish state media, Global Times, said in an article published on August 25 that Vietnam and Singapore were “clear” about how US diplomacy was “Mac.” Stated.[ing] Allied sacrifice for the United States. “

In 2016, the arbitral tribunal’s ruling dismissed Beijing’s territorial claim to the area delimited by the “nine-dash line.” Ignoring the ruling, Beijing instead adopted aggressive tactics, including military runaway and installation on conflict sea islands, to exercise its territorial claims.

Other aggressive tactics include denying fishermen from other countries access to fishing grounds in disputed waters.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all face territorial disputes with China at sea.

Beijing’s attack on Taiwan primarily involves flying Chinese military aircraft into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). So far this month, according to the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, such intrusions have occurred for 11 days, most recently on August 25, when anti-submarine fighters entered the ADIZ.

The Chinese administration also threatened the war with Taiwan and conducted military exercises near the island.

A virtually independent country, Taiwan is an autonomous democracy with its own military power, constitution and currency. However, the Chinese Communist Party considers the autonomous island to be part of its territory and must force it to reunite with the mainland if necessary.

“Given that if China continues to invade this region, especially Taiwan, nothing seems to be working so far, the Biden administration is prepared to take different actions to prevent it. “There is,” the reporter asked Harris. Reporters also asked whether the administration would consider increasing its military presence in the South China Sea or slapping sanctions on Chinese authorities.

Harris did not comment on Taiwan, the potential for US military growth, or the potential for US sanctions.

In response to a reporter’s question, Harris said, “I will speak when Beijing takes action that threatens the rule-based international order.”

“We will continue to do everything we can to ensure that we continue to commit to our partners and allies on these important types of issues,” she added.

On August 4, the Biden administration approved the first arms sale to Taiwan. This includes 40 self-propelled howitzers and 20 field artillery support vehicles. In March, US Admiral Philip Davidson, then head of the US Indo-Pacific Army, said at a parliamentary hearing that Beijing could invade Taiwan “within six years.”

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.

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