HomeWorldU.S. VP Harris condemns 'disturbing' Chinese actions

U.S. VP Harris condemns ‘disturbing’ Chinese actions

YOKOSUKA, Japan, Sept. 28 (Reuters) – US Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday condemned China’s “disturbing” actions in the Pacific, while promising to deepen “unofficial ties” with Taiwan, days after the US government pledged that her troops would defend the island .

Harris made her remarks on the deck of the USS Howard destroyer during a visit to the largest US Navy installation in the world at Yokosuka, near the Japanese capital.

“China is undermining important elements of the international rules-based order,” said Harris, who is on a four-day trip to Asia.

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“China has used its military and economic might to coerce and intimidate its neighbors. And we have witnessed disturbing behavior in the East China Sea and South China Sea, and most recently provocations in the Taiwan Strait. .”

The comments to US sailors wearing white come after US President Joe Biden promised in an interview aired on Sept. 18 to defend the island of Taiwan claimed by China from an “unprecedented attack.” read more

The US endorses a “one China” policy that formally recognizes only Beijing, but commits the US administration to give democratically ruled Taiwan the means to defend itself.

China says Taiwan is one of its provinces. It has long vowed to bring Taiwan under its control and does not rule out using force to do so.

The government of Taiwan strongly opposes China’s sovereignty claims, saying only the island’s 23 million residents can decide the island’s future.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August, angering China, which was then conducting its largest-ever military exercises around the island.

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Harris said US forces in the region would operate “fearless and fearless”, while the United States expects “continued aggressive” actions from China.

“We will continue to oppose any unilateral change to the status quo,” she said. “And we will continue to support Taiwan’s self-defense, consistent with our long-standing policies. Taiwan is a vibrant democracy contributing to the well-being of the world – from technology to health and beyond, and the United States will be our unofficial ties.”

Wang Wenbin, spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, told a regular media briefing that the United States should return to the one China policy and “make it unequivocally clear that it is against all Taiwanese separatist activity.”

RISING VOLTAGE

Harris’ trip to Japan, Washington’s closest regional ally, was intended to reassure allies and deter any escalation.

Aides said Harris would work on a concerted approach in a region where leaders are wary of rising tensions between the United States and China.

The base where Harris spoke is home to 24,000 military and civilian workers who could be engaged in a regional conflict. It is also home to the USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier now in South Korea to participate in joint exercises intended to deter North Korea. Harris will visit the demilitarized zone that separates the Koreas on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Harris led Biden’s bipartisan US delegation to the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who pushed the country away from the pacifist doctrine it had adopted after it was defeated in World War II.

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Biden is expected to hold his first face-to-face meeting as president with China’s Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 meeting in Indonesia in November.

Before speaking to the U.S. military, Harris stepped below decks and was shown the warship’s missile and anti-submarine capabilities.

A commander pointed to a digital map showing a hypothetical enemy, an “enemy country” that he refused to identify.

“It’s not Guam,” he explained, referring to the Pacific area.

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Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in Yokosuka, Japan; Additional coverage by Ben Blanchard in Taipei and Eduardo Baptista in Beijing; Editing by Mary Milliken, Josie Kao and Gerry Doyle

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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