Vice president Kamala Harris speaks from a coastguard ship in the Philippines on the South China Sea against China's trespassing, destroying of livestock, and over-fishing in the Philippines and some 11 other countries after meeting earlier with Philippines President Bongbong Marcos in Manila....By editor Kathy Wray Coleman of Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinnewsblog.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader
United States Vice President Kamala Harris and Philippines President Bongbong Marcos in Manila (White House photo)
By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor
PUERTO PRINCES, Philippines — After meeting on Monday with Philippines President Bongbong Marcos in Manila to discuss ways to strengthen the economic and security relationship between the United States and the Philippines, Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday gave an assertive speech from the Southeast China Sea in the Philippine island against over-fishing and heightened threats to local fishing communities that have increased already existing tensions between China and the United States and Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines.
“As an ally, the United States stands with the Philippines in the face of intimidation and coercion in the South China Sea,” the vice president said atop of the Philippines Coast Guard ship Teresa Magbanua at Puerto Princesa Port in the Philippines.
Pundits called the vice president's highly publicized visit abroad "highly symbolic." Harris, however, called it a humanitarian gesture of necessity and a chance for the United States to strengthen its relationship with the Philippines.
The nation's first woman and first Black vice president, who is also of Southeast Asian descent, the vice president spoke aboard a Philippine coast guard patrol ship docked in Puerto Princesa in the western island province of Palawan by design, and partly because it lies at the edge of the disputed waters. And she said that America stands with the Philippines “in the face of intimidation and coercion in the South China Sea.”
At issue is China's aggressiveness and intimidation against some 12 countries .
China, which has the largest deep-water fishing fleet in the world, stands accused of bullying the 12 or so countries by trespassing along privileged waters and respectively destroying livestock.
A former California attorney general and U.S. senator-turned vice president, Harris was flanked on the coastguard ship by coast guardsmen in uniform with mainstream media from Japan, China, the U.S. and across the globe also in attendance.
She alluded to China and said that the deep sea fishing fiasco is a matter of territorial integrity and that the freedom of navigation is under attack, though the vice president did not specifically mention China by name. More than five million Filipinos make a living from fishing and millions more rely on it for food and other resources. Research also reveals that roughly 90 percent of fish caught in the Philippines is consumed locally but 10 of the country's 13 major fishing grounds are over-fished, according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
While the U.S. continues to conduct billion dollar trade operations in China, Beijing claims complete sovereignty and has vehemently opposed U.S. Navy and Air Force patrols in the South China Sea , an arm of the western Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia, south of China, east and south of Vietnam, west of the Philippines and north of the island of Borneo. A highly contested body of water, the South China Sea is bounded by the east coast of the Malay Peninsula and the southern part of the Gulf of Thailand. It is also bordered by the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan), among other countries.
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