Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday accused China of “undermining key elements of the international rules-based order” and called its behavior in the East China Sea, South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait “” worrying”.
Harris, speaking aboard the USS Howard at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, also echoed President Joe Biden’s words. recent comments in favor of Taiwan, said the US would “continue to oppose any unilateral change to the status quo. And we will continue to support Taiwan’s right to self-defence, consistent with our longstanding policy.”
Harris’ comments come at a time when tensions between Beijing and Taipei are at their highest in recent decades, with the Chinese military holding major exercises near the island.
Under the “One China” policy, the US acknowledges China’s position that Taiwan is part of China, but has never officially recognized the Communist Party’s claim to the self-governing island of 23 million people. . The United States supplies Taiwan with defensive weapons, but remains deliberately vague about whether it will intervene militarily in the event of a Chinese attack.
“China is undermining key elements of the rules-based international order. China has challenged freedom of the seas. China has flexed its military and economic might to coerce and intimidate its neighbors,” Harris said in the speech.
She added that the US believes that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is “an essential feature of a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
“We will continue to fly, sail and operate, undaunted and fearless, wherever and whenever international law allows.”
Harris told the US military that the US has a “profound contribution to the future of this region”, adding that its presence in the Indo-Pacific is “in pursuit of peace and stability, while supporting our allies and partners.”
Harris is in the area to lead a presidential delegation for National mourning by former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was held on Tuesday, and met with government officials from Japan, South Korea and Australia.
After Japan, Harris will go to Korea where she is expected visit the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea on Thursday.