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Ahead of G20 Summit, US's VP Kamala Harris calls China's new map 'a violation of international law'

"This is already been negotiated. I mean, an arbitral in 2016 made it clear it's a it's a violation of the law. And so that's where I put that map," said Harris.

Ajeet Kumar Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Jakarta Published on: September 07, 2023 23:59 IST
US Vice President Kamala Harris
Image Source : AP US Vice President Kamala Harris

US Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday the United States has "a very significant interest" in developing and strengthening relationships in the South China Sea, both economically and militarily.

Harris made the comments during an interview with The Associated Press in Jakarta, Indonesia, where she is representing the United States at a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in place of Biden.

The president's absence disappointed some, but the White House emphasized that it remained committed to the region, which Harris reiterated in her interview.

“We as Americans, I believe, have a very significant interest, both in terms of our security but also our prosperity, today and in the future, in developing and strengthening these relationships,” she said.

Southeast Asia is a critical arena for the rivalry between the U.S. and China, particularly when it comes to the South China Sea. One-third of global shipping traverses its waters.

Beijing recently released a new government map that emphasizes its disputed territorial claims to the sea. “It’s a violation of the law. And that’s where I put that map,” Harris told the AP. "This is already been negotiated. I mean, an arbitral in 2016 made it clear it's a it's a violation of the law. And so that's where I put that map."

ASEAN has struggled to make progress on issues such as the military coup in Myanmar, but Harris said the organization “absolutely” remains a critical forum.

“The fact that so many leaders are convening in this one place at the same time to address some of the biggest challenges facing our world is a sign of strength of both the commitment that each nation has to the coalition and the potential for collaboration,” she said.

"Absolutely. The fact that so many leaders are convening in this one place at the same time to address some of the biggest challenges facing our world is a sign of strength of both the commitment that each nation has to the coalition and the potential for collaboration. But it also speaks, I think, to the optimism that nations have about the importance of this organization and the convening."

AP

Also Read: PM Modi's staunch message to China: It is duty of everyone to ensure sovereignty, territorial integrity of all

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