On August 25, in Hanoi, US Vice President Kamala Harris suggested more visits by US warships, including aircraft carriers, to Vietnam, as well as possible additional support for Hanoi with third coast guard ship, according to information from the White House.
The news was announced following a meeting between Ms. Harris and top Vietnamese leaders, in which she offered support in several key areas including enhancing maritime security in efforts to counter the China’s growing dominance in the South China Sea.
According to an unnamed White House official, during talks with President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan, and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Ms. Harris said it was necessary to increase pressure on Beijing on maritime claims.
Reuters news agency quoted Vice President Harris as saying in a meeting with President Nguyen Xuan Phuc: “We need to find ways to put pressure, increase pressure … to force Beijing to comply with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and challenge Beijing’s bullying practices and excessive maritime claims.”
The White House official said that Ms. Harris mentioned security cooperation with Vietnam through three major pillars: first, the commitment to security partnership with the US and Vietnam, including humanitarian commitments such as Pacific operations and visits by US ships, including aircraft carriers; second, strengthen the two countries’ Coast Guard partnerships, including possibly providing a third U.S. Coast Guard vessel, law enforcement training, and other joint activities to strengthen capacity of Vietnam in contributing to maritime security in the South China Sea; third, expand humanitarian cooperation and disaster response.
Dr. Hoang Viet, an expert on international law of the sea in Ho Chi Minh City, commented to VOA about Vice President Harris’ commitments to support Vietnam:
“Vietnam desperately needs help from the US. During Vice President Harris’ visit, the US continued to help Vietnam strengthen in this security area – the decision to give Vietnam an additional patrol boat, as it had given two before – played an important role in Vietnam Coast Guard.
“The two sides also pushed more, especially related to the visit of warships and aircraft carriers of the US side to Vietnam.
“These are good signals for the development of Vietnam-US security. This shows that the relationship between the two countries is not only about trade, but also about security and defense, which are practical issues of Vietnam in the current situation,” added Dr. Hoang Viet.
US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks in Singapore on August 24, 2021.
Vice President Harris’ seven-day trip to Singapore and Vietnam is part of a broader U.S. strategy to attract allies that Washington hopes will help them challenge today’s economic and security influence. China’s growth in the region.
Harris on Monday again accused China of bullying its Southeast Asian neighbors, the second time in two days she attacked Beijing during a visit to the region to counter China’s growing influence, according to Reuters.
Earlier, on August 25, Chinese state media accused Ms. Harris of trying to boost relations between China and Southeast Asian countries with comments in Singapore that Beijing had used the coercion and intimidation to support unlawful claims in the South China Sea.
“While pointing the finger at China and accusing China of ‘coercion’ and ‘threat,’ Ms. Harris deliberately ignored her hypocrisy to try to coerce and intimidate countries in the region into engaging in join Washington in the conspiracy to contain China,” China Daily said in an editorial in response to Harris’s remarks in Singapore.