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US Vice-President Harris to push against China over Taiwan

Vice-President Kamala Harris will talk about threats to the world’s rules-based order, including in the Taiwan Strait, during a speech to US sailors in Japan.

September 28, 2022
By Trevor Hunnicutt
28 September 2022

US Vice-President Kamala Harris is expected to take aim at China’s actions toward Taiwan during a speech to American sailors serving in Japan.

Harris’ trip to Asia comes days after Chinese officials were roiled by US President Joe Biden’s explicit pledge to defend the Chinese-claimed island.

US Vice President Kamala Harris, center, hosts a roundtable discussion with Japanese business executives in Tokyo on Wednesday. (Leah Millis/Pool Photo via AP)

“She will get into threats to the international rules-based order and how she sees them,” including recent provocations across the Taiwan Strait, said a senior administration official previewing Harris’ remarks on Wednesday.

“She will speak about that and what we are doing to push back against those efforts and stand up for the international rules and norms that have guided this region.”

Harris will speak during a visit to the largest overseas US naval installation in the world at Yokosuka, outside of Tokyo. 

The base is home to 24,000 military and civilian workers, as well as the USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier in South Korea to take part in joint drills meant to deter North Korea. 

Harris will visit the demilitarised zone separating the Koreas on Thursday.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Taiwanese President President Tsai Ing-wen, center, during her controversial visit to Taipei. (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)

China says democratically ruled Taiwan is one of its provinces. Beijing has long vowed to bring Taiwan under its control and has not ruled out the use of force to do so. Taiwan’s government strongly objects to China’s sovereignty claims and says only the island’s 23 million people can decide its future.

Following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August, China carried out its largest-ever military exercises around the island.

Aides said Harris would work on a unified approach to that challenge within the region, where leaders have warily watched rising tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Biden is expected to hold his first face-to-face meeting as president with China’s Xi Jinping during November’s Group of 20 meeting in Indonesia.

US Vice President Kamala was in Japan for the state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)

Harris was in Japan to lead Biden’s bipartisan US delegation to the state funeral of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.

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