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Vice President Kamala Harris warns of China's 'disturbing behavior'

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U.S .Vice President Kamala Harris called out China’s recent “disturbing behavior” in the Taiwan Strait, during a speech at a U.S. military base on Wednesday. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4f324adfb93771b2fd3b855519b3b70d/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
U.S .Vice President Kamala Harris called out China’s recent “disturbing behavior” in the Taiwan Strait, during a speech at a U.S. military base on Wednesday. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Vice President Kamala Harris called out China's recent "disturbing behavior" in the Taiwan Strait, during a speech at a U.S. military base on Wednesday.

"China is undermining key elements of the international rules-based order. China has challenged the freedom of the seas. China has flexed its military and economic might to coerce and intimidate its neighbors," Harris said aboard the USS Howard, moored at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan.

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"And we have witnessed disturbing behavior in the East China Sea and in the South China Sea."

The vice president is also in Japan for the funeral of the country's former prime minister Shinzo Abe.

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Harris reiterated the U.S. foreign policy has not changed amid the growing Chinese demonstrations of military might.

"As President Joe Biden said last week at the U.N. General Assembly, the United States does not seek conflict with China, and we do not seek a Cold War. In fact, we will work with every willing nation to solve global challenges. And that is why the USS Howard is here," Harris said, referencing the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer she was standing on at the moment.

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She also referenced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's high-stakes August visit to Taiwan, which led a furious China to conduct combat exercises nearby.

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"The United States believes that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is an essential feature of a free and open Indo-Pacific. We will continue to oppose any unilateral change to the status quo. And we will continue to support Taiwan's self-defense, consistent with our longstanding policy," Harris said Wednesday.

Biden repeated his assertion that American forces would defend Taiwan militarily against an attempted invasion by China, during a Sept. 18 interview on CBC' "60 Minutes."

Harris is scheduled to travel to South Korea on Thursday, and also mentioned North Korea's "illicit weapons program, which threatens regional stability."

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