Kamala Harris Accuses China Of ‘Coercion’ And ‘Intimidation’, Vows U.S. Support For Allies In Indo-Pacific

Published 2 years ago
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TOPLINE U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday hit out at China, accusing it of using  “coercion” and “intimidation” to  back unlawful claims in the South China Sea and affirmed U.S. support for allies in the region as the Biden administration shifts its attention and resources to the Indo-Pacific region to counter Beijing’s advances.


Speaking in Singapore in the middle of an important seven-day tour to Southeast Asia, Harris said that Beijing’s activities in the region continue to undermine “the rules-based order” and threaten the sovereignty of nations.

Harris, who is scheduled to visit Hanoi on Tuesday, added that the U.S. “stands with our allies and our partners” in the face of threats from China.


Harris’ trip to the region comes at an important time for the Biden administration as it begins to pivot its attention towards the Indo-Pacific and away from the Middle East.

She noted that the Indo-Pacific was “critically important” to America’s national security and prosperity.

While the vice president’s remarks were her sharpest rebuke against China so far, she appeared to acknowledge Singapore’s neutrality in the U.S.-China rivalry by noting that Washington isn’t trying to “make anyone choose between countries.”


Washington’s pivot towards the Indo-Pacific comes at a time when the Biden administration is winding down America’s decades-long presence in the Middle East with a messy exit from Afghanistan. The botched withdrawal from Afghanistan has raised several concerns among U.S. allies about its commitment to support them. Acknowledging the situation, Harris said the U.S. is evacuating as many people as possible but added that it was also imperative to “continue to advance our interests in other regions, including this region.” In her speech on Tuesday, Harris emphasized the significance of the Southeast Asia region to the U.S. both in terms of security and trade. Harris will begin the second leg of her tour in Hanoi where she is scheduled to meet top officials from the Vietnamese government.



On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin accused the U.S. of doing “unscrupulous and dishonest things” in Afghanistan and called on Washington to help rebuild the country. “The United States is the root cause and the biggest external factor in the Afghan issue. It cannot just run away like this.”


Harris rebukes China in major speech on Indo-Pacific (Associated Press)