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Harris: Recent behavior by China ‘disturbing’

Vice President Harris
Leah Millis/Pool Photo via AP
Vice President Harris talks to the media at Yokosuka Naval Base, in Yokosuka, near Tokyo, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022.

Vice President Harris on Wednesday called China’s recent behavior in the East China Sea, South China Sea and Taiwan Strait “disturbing” and accused Beijing of attempting to undermine the “international rules-based order.”

“China has challenged the freedom of the seas,” Harris said aboard the USS Howard at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan. “China has flexed its military and economic might to coerce and intimidate its neighbors.”

Tensions between the U.S. and China have been high since Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made a controversial trip to Taiwan last month, the highest-ranking American official to visit the disputed island in decades.

China responded to the visit with a series of military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

Harris, however, on Wednesday accused China of using Pelosi’s visit as a “pretext.”

“We anticipate continued aggressive behavior from Beijing as it attempts to unilaterally undermine the status quo,” she said.

President Biden has committed the U.S. to defending Taiwan against attack. However, China issued a warning at the U.N. General Assembly on Saturday that “any move to obstruct China’s reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history.”

Harris on Wednesday also pointed to other recent threats to the international order, including Russia’s war in Ukraine and North Korea’s missile launch earlier in the day, just as Harris is set to travel to South Korea on Thursday.

Tags China East China Sea Japan Joe Biden Kamala Harris Nancy Pelosi South China Sea Taiwan Taiwan Strait

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