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Vice President Kamala Harris called out China during a speech she gave at a US naval base in Japan on Wednesday, accusing the Asian superpower of “disturbing” activities toward Taiwan.
Harris arrived at United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka – a US naval base – and toured the USS Howard before addressing Navy personnel that afternoon.
After applauding the work of the US Navy, the vice president launched into a sharp rebuke of Chinese military actions. Harris accused the Asian superpower of “undermining” the rules-based international order with its acts of aggression against Taiwan.
“China has challenged the freedom of the seas. China has deployed its military and economic might to coerce and intimidate its neighbors,” the vice president said.
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“And we’ve seen disturbing behavior in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and more recently, provocations across the Taiwan Strait,” she added.
During his speech, Harris briefly alluded to America’s role in ensuring “peace and stability” in the region, saying Washington will continue to support Taiwan.
“The United States believes that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is an essential feature of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the vice president said. “We will continue to fly, sail and operate, undeterred and unafraid, wherever and whenever international law permits.”
“We will continue to support Taiwan’s self-defense, in accordance with our long-standing policy,” she said, calling Taiwan a “vibrant” democracy that “contributes to the global good”.
“The United States is a proud Pacific power. The American people have a deep interest in the future of this region. And we will continue to promote a free and open, connected, secure and resilient Indo-Pacific,” Harris concluded.
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The speech came as Harris’ trip to Japan draws to a close. Harris is scheduled to visit the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea on Thursday.
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Harris’ trip to the DMZ has drawn backlash from US conservatives, who accuse him of avoiding addressing the migrant crisis at the US-Mexico border.
The White House did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment on the backlash.