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August 24, 2021 @ 10:02 +03:00
Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday called out Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea, and sought to assure countries in Asia that they won’t have to choose between the U.S. and China. “We know that Beijing continues to coerce, to intimidate and to make claims to the vast majority of South China Sea,” Harris said in a speech in Singapore during her first official visit to Southeast Asia.
“These unlawful claims have been rejected by the 2016 arbitral tribunal decision, and Beijing’s actions continue to undermine the rules based order and threaten the sovereignty of nations,” she added. “The United States stands with our allies and partners in the face of these threats.” China claims nearly the entire South China Sea — but a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration dismissed that claim as legally baseless in 2016.
The South China Sea is resource-rich waterway that’s a vital commercial shipping route where trillions of dollars of world trade pass through each year. In addition to China, other territorial claimants in the sea include Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. But Beijing ignored the tribunal ruling and in the last few years, even increased its presence by deploying vessels to patrol the waters and building artificial islands.
Kamala Harris says Asia won’t have to choose between the U.S. and China, CNBC, Aug 24