SINGAPORE — Vice President Kamala Harris provided a sharp rebuke to China for its attacks in the South China Sea, alerting its actions there total up to “coercion” and “intimidation” and verifying that the U.S. will support its allies in the area versus Beijing’s advances.
“We know that Beijing continues to coerce, to intimidate and to make claims to the vast majority of the South China Sea,” she stated in a major diplomacy speech Tuesday in Singapore in which she set out the Biden administration’s vision for the Indo-Pacific. “Beijing’s actions continue to undermine the rules-based order and threaten the sovereignty of nations.”
The speech looked for to seal the U.S. dedication to supporting its allies in a location of growing value to the Biden administration, which has actually made countering China’s impact worldwide a focal point of its diplomacy.
Harris, who is on a weeklong swing through Southeast Asia, stated that the U.S. “stands with our allies and our partners” in the face of dangers from China.
The address Tuesday early morning at Singapore’s renowned Gardens by the Bay waterside park used a chance for the previous state chief law officer and U.S. senator to show her fluidity with diplomatic and security concerns.
Harris’ remarks likewise come throughout a defining moment for the United States as the Biden administration looks for to additional strengthen its pivot towards Asia while America’s decades-long focus on the Middle East pertains to an unpleasant end with the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Harris’ remarks echoed and broadened upon remarks she delivered at the U.S. Naval Academy graduation in June, where she explained a world that is “interconnected,” “interdependent” and “fragile.”
On Monday, Harris informed sailors aboard a U.S. battle ship at the Changi marine base in Singapore that “a big part of the history of the 21st century will be written about this very region” which their work safeguarding the area was critical.
“It is in our vital interest to stand united with our allies and our partners in Southeast Asia in defense of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” she stated.
Harris likewise satisfied Monday with Singapore President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The vice president’s workplace revealed a number of agreements out of that meeting focused on combating cyberthreats, dealing with environment modification, resolving the Covid-19 pandemic and reducing supply chain concerns.
After her speech Tuesday, Harris will hold a roundtable conversation with magnate on supply chain concerns, and after that take a trip to Vietnam, where she’ll meet leading authorities Wednesday.
President Joe Biden himself has actually consistently stressed his focus on China as one of America’s primary foes, promising in a February speech at the State Department to “confront China’s economic abuses; counter its aggressive, coercive action; to push back on China’s attack on human rights, intellectual property, and global governance” — a message he echoed once again later on that month to European allies at the virtual G7 Summit and Munich Security Conference.
And in current months, his administration has actually increase outreach to the Indo-Pacific area, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Austin both checking out the location in the spring and summer season. Secretary of State Antony Blinken likewise held a variety of virtual conferences with Southeast Asian authorities previously this month.
The disorderly U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, nevertheless, made complex that message of assistance to the area, raising concerns about the U.S. dedication to its allies. While Biden stated recently that an indefinite engagement would’ve benefited “true strategic competitors” China and Russia, China has actually taken on the images of violence from the evacuation to knock the U.S. for its engagement there.
Chinese Foreign Ministry representative Wang Wenbin stated Monday that the U.S. had actually done “unscrupulous and dishonest things” in Afghanistan and called on the country to assist restore.
“The United States is the root cause and the biggest external factor in the Afghan issue,” Wenbin stated. “It cannot just run away like this.”
But Harris, throughout a joint press conference with Prime Minister Lee on Monday, stated that her existence in the nation, integrated with the contracts around higher cooperation that the Biden administration has actually pursued with Indo-Pacific nations, speak “volumes in terms of the integrity of the relationships that the United States has around the world on many issues.”