Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Singapore and Vietnam prompted the Chinese Communist regime to issue derisive comments based on the recent U.S. hasty exit from Afghanistan.
The Global Times media, acting as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), laughed at Harris’ attempts to garner support from small Asian countries in the face of their growing expansionism, Breitbart reported on Aug. 23.
For her part, during her visit to Singapore, Harris emphasized a focus on “peace and stability, freedom on the seas, unimpeded commerce, advancing human rights, a commitment to the international rules-based order and the recognition that our common interests are not zero sum,” according to South China Morning Post.
She also criticized Beijing’s vast claims and actions in the South China Sea as undermining the rules-based order and threatening “the sovereignty of nations.”
The CCP has claimed territories in the South China Sea, infringing on the national rights of neighboring countries such as the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
But in 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled that Chinese military activity there was illegal, saying the CCP lacked evidence to prove exclusive control over the region.
“The tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line,'” said the ruling, according to The Guardian.
In context, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated support for the Court’s ruling according to the July 13, 2020, statements.
“Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them,” Pompeo said.
In turn, current Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced the CCP’s behavior and said the U.S. government would continue the Trump administration’s stance toward China, referring to recent CCP incursions against Philippine sovereignty.
“We also reaffirm that an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the South China Sea would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty,” Blinken said.
Harris’ trip was preceded by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s trip to Singapore in late July, during which he also sought to shore up U.S. ties with Vietnam.
On that occasion, he expanded on the context of the CCP’s aggression against neighboring countries.
“Unfortunately, Beijing’s unwillingness to resolve disputes peacefully and respect the rule of law isn’t just occurring on the water,” Austin said.
He added: “We have also seen aggression against India … destabilizing military activity and other forms of coercion against the people of Taiwan … and genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.”
Following her visit to Singapore, Harris visits Vietnam. Shortly before her arrival, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held an unannounced meeting with Chinese Ambassador Xiong Bo.
This meeting gave rise to some suspicion from Murray Hiebert, an expert on Southeast Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
“The fact that China’s ambassador insisted on a meeting with the Vietnamese prime minister shortly before Harris landed shows how anxious Beijing is that its communist neighbor may tilt toward the US,” Hiebert commented, according to The Strait Times.