Beijing continues to ‘coerce’ in the South China Sea, says Kamala Harris

By Mudit Mohan Sharma

U.S. vice president Kamala Harris on a weekday, August 24, 2021, accused Beijing of continuing to “coerce” and “intimidate” within the South China ocean and pledged that Washington would pursue a free and open Indo Pacific.

Her comments came throughout a visit to Singapore and before a visit to Vietnam, where U.S. officers aim to affirm Washington’s commitment to the region and address issues regarding China’s claims to disputed elements of the South China ocean.

“We recognize that Beijing continues to oblige, to intimidate and to form claims to the overwhelming majority of the South China ocean,” Ms Harris aforesaid in an exceeding speech in Singapore.
“These unlawful claims are rejected by the 2016 mediation assembly call, and Beijing’s actions still undermine the principles primarily based order and threaten the sovereignty of countries,” she said, touching on a global tribunal’s ruling over China’s claims within the Hague.

China rejected the ruling and has stood by its claim to most of the waters inside an alleged 9 Dash Line, which is also contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. China has established military outposts on artificial islands within the waters that contain gas fields and wealthy fishing.

The U.S. Navy, in an exceedingly show of force against the Chinese territorial claims, often conducts alleged “freedom of navigation” operations within which their vessels pass close a number of the contested islands. China successively objects to the U.S.missions, saying they are doing not facilitate promote peace or stability.

The u. s. has place countering China at the centre of its national security policy for years and President Joe Biden’s administration has known as rivalry with Beijing “the biggest politics test” of this century.
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But a prime Chinese diplomat last month defendant Washington of making an “imaginary enemy” to divert attention from domestic issues and suppress China.

Ms Harris met on Monday with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Halimah Yacob throughout a visit geared toward bolstering ties with partners within the region as a part of Washington’s efforts to counter China’s growing economic and security influence.

“Our partnerships in Singapore, in square measurea|geographic area|geographical region|geographic region} and throughout the Indo Pacific are a prime priority for u. s.,” Ms Harris aforementioned on a weekday, adding that the region “is critically vital to our nation’s security and prosperity”.

Part of her task throughout the trip are convincing leaders within the region that Washington’s commitment to southeast Asia is firm and not a parallel to Afghanistan.

U.S. President Biden has featured criticism over his handling of the withdrawal of U.S. forces and therefore the chaotic evacuation once the lightning takeover by the Taliban. Ms Harris stressed once more that u. s. was “laser-focused” on the task of “safely evacuating Americans, international partners, Afghans who worked facet by facet with us, and different Afghans at risk”.

She conjointly aforesaid that u. s. had place itself forward to host a gathering of the Asia-Pacific trade cluster APEC in 2023, which includes the u. s., China and Japan.