By Nandita Bose and James Pearson
HanoiAug. 26 – U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said Thursday United States Welcomes competition and does not seek conflict with Beijing, but will rule on issues such as maritime disputes in the South China Sea.
Harris, who has visited Singapore and Vietnam, accused China of intimidating its Southeast Asian neighbors, prompting strong condemnation from Beijing, accusing the United States of interfering in regional affairs and disrupting the peace.
“We welcome tough competition, we are not looking for conflict, but on issues like the South China Sea, we are going to talk,” Harris told a news conference at the end of his trip to Southeast Asia in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
“We will raise our voice when Beijing takes action that threatens international order,” he said.
Harris’ seven-day trip to Singapore and Vietnam is part of a broader US strategy to confront China globally.
China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan claim some parts of the disputed waters of the South China Sea, through which major sea lanes pass and have gas fields and fertile fishing grounds.
In meetings with Vietnamese leaders on Wednesday, Harris said China’s “intimidation and excessive maritime claims” in the South China Sea should be questioned and offered support. United States To improve Vietnam’s maritime security, including more visits by US warships to the country.
His statements were condemned by the Chinese state media.
On Wednesday, the state-run Chinese daily In Singapore responded to Harris’ comments by saying that Harris had “deliberately ignored his own hypocrisy” in an attempt to unite countries in the region against China.
On Thursday, following their meeting in Hanoi, the Global Times reported that the United States “dreamed” that it would provoke Vietnam to confront China.
“As for Washington, it would not be better if there was a new war between Beijing and Hanoi,” the tabloid, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, said in an editorial.
The US administration called the rivalry with China the “biggest geopolitical test of the century” and at the same time strengthened its focus on Asia.
The visit to Hanoi in Southeast Asia in late July was the subject of a series of high-level visits by US officials, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
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