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Vice President Kamala Harris delivers a speech at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore on Tuesday. Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris accused Beijing on Tuesday of continuing to "intimidate and to make claims to the vast majority of the South China Sea."

Why it matters: Harris' major foreign policy speech in Singapore comes at a crucial point for the Biden administration, as officials seek to emphasize the Biden administration's commitment and rally an international coalition to curb the influence of China's government.

  • Her comments come as much of the world's attention is on the crisis in Afghanistan — with the return of the Taliban nearly 20 years on from the group's ouster by U.S.-led forces.

What she's saying: "We know that Beijing continues to coerce, to intimidate and to make claims to the vast majority of the South China Sea," Harris said.

  • "These unlawful claims have been rejected by the 2016 arbitral tribunal decision, and Beijing's actions continue to undermine the rules based order and threaten the sovereignty of nations," she continued, in reference to an international court ruling on Beijing's claims in the Hague.
  • Harris said the U.S. "stands with our allies and our partners" against China's government and that "Beijing's actions continue to undermine the rules-based order and threaten the sovereignty of nations."

Of note: The vice president stressed that the Biden administration's engagement in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific region was "not against any one country, nor is it designed to make anyone choose between countries."

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include more comment from Harris and further context.

Go deeper

Oct 15, 2021 - Technology

Sen. Kelly: U.S. must develop new military tech to prevent future conflicts

Developing new military technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, will be necessary to prevent a war with China or other adversaries, Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) said at an Axios event Friday.

Why it matters: With the war on terror ramping down and competition with China increasing, Kelly said it's time for the U.S. to adapt its military technology to address threats in the western Pacific, specifically China.

Updated 35 mins ago - World

Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" when the gang abducted them in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro. Security forces placed six U.S. oil executives under house arrest later Saturday, per AP.