- American Vice President Kamala Harris in a meeting with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Wednesday urged the country to pressure China during her Southeast Asian tour.
“We need to find ways to pressure and raise the pressure, frankly, on Beijing to abide by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and to challenge its excessive maritime claims,” Harris stated in the meeting with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi, RT reported.
The VP laid support for elevating U.S.-Vietnam relations toward strategic partnership and giving Hanoi a third former U.S. Coast Guard cutter to better defend its interests in the South China Sea.
China and Vietnam are among the nations that have claims on disputed areas in the region, with Beijing having set up military bases on artificial islands in the South China Sea.
The U.S. regularly carries out so-called ‘freedom-of-navigation’ missions, sailing warships close to China’s waters, which Beijing views as provocative military actions. Washington, meanwhile, accuses China of intimidating its neighbors by sending its military ships and jets to patrol the areas near Taiwan.
Harris’ remarks came after a belligerent speech she gave in Singapore on Tuesday, slamming China for undermining “the rules-based order” and “unlawful” territorial claims.
Harris’ Flight to Vietnam Delayed Due to Mysterious ‘Health Incident’
Kamala Harris, who is currently on a tour of Southeast Asia, left Singapore for Vietnam almost three hours late due to concerns over an “anomalous health incident” in the Vietnamese capital.
The U.S. Embassy Hanoi said in a statement on Tuesday that “earlier this evening, the vice president’s travelling delegation was delayed from departing Singapore because the vice president’s office was made aware of a report of a recent possible anomalous health incident in Hanoi, Vietnam”, Sputnik reported.