During his visit to Singapore, US Vice President Kamala Harris criticized China’s actions regarding unlawful claims in the South China Sea. She accused Beijing of coercion and intimidation to extort them.
“We know Beijing is going so far as to intimidate to enforce its claims on the vast majority of the South China Sea,” said Kamala Harris. – These unlawful claims were rejected in 2016 by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, and Beijing’s actions undermine the rule of law and threaten the independence of nations – she added.
China rejected the judgment of the Court and remained with its claims to 90 percent of the South China Sea, including the waters – under applicable international law – belonging to neighboring countries: Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Vietnam. China marks the limits of its zone in these waters, the so-called a line of nine dashes. Vietnam, due to its associations with the shape, describes it with the line of the “cow’s tongue”.
Purpose of the Harris visit
Harris’s trip to Singapore and later to Vietnam is her second overseas visit. It aims to counter China’s growing security and economic influence, allay fears over Beijing’s claims to disputed parts of the South China Sea, and demonstrate that Washington can be a leader.
In a speech in Singapore, Harris presented the US vision of the development of this region, based on human rights and international order.
Main photo source: ONG WEE JIN / SPH SINGAPORE / PAP / EPA