US VP Kamala Harris criticises Beijing intimidation in South China Sea

US VP Kamala Harris criticises Beijing intimidation in South China Sea
Ms Harris was speaking during a trip in Singapore. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The US Vice-President has criticized China about its claim in the South China Sea during a speech made in Singapore on the first leg of a South East Asian tour.

Ms Harris accused China of intimidation and coercion in the South China Sea, which has been a regional flashpoint for years.

She said the United States would “stand with our allies in the face of threats”.

Her trip in South East Asia is seen as an attempt to reaffirm US commitment to the region.

The US Vice-President’s speech which touched on a number of other issues also mentioned the US forces withdrawal from Afghanistan, where she insisted the decision was “courageous and right”.

Ms Harris criticized Beijing’s claims “to the vast majority of the South China Sea,” which, according to Harris, were based on coercion and intimidation.

She said: “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.”

Ms Harris was referring to a landmark legal victory the Philippines won over China, concerning territorial incursions in the sea.

Despite the tribunal ruling and since 2012, there has been a constant Chinese Coastguard presence the disputed region of South China Sea – with Filipino fishermen reporting harassment by the authorities.

China has been increasingly assertive in recent years over what it says are centuries-old rights to the contested region, and has been rapidly building up its military presence to back up those claims.

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