By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
Harris, who was in Japan for the state funeral of the country’s assassinated ex-premier Shinzo Abe, earlier met Japan’s current prime minister to discuss the crisis.
Harris and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met at a time of concern that what they called Chinese “provocations” could lead to another international conflict.
“They discussed the People’s Republic of China’s recent aggressive and irresponsible provocations in the Taiwan Strait and reaffirmed the importance of preserving peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” the White House added in a statement.
Harris’ trip to Asia, which includes a stop in South Korea, comes days after Chinese officials expressed outrage about an explicit pledge by U.S. President Joe Biden to defend the Chinese-claimed island.
China sees democratically ruled Taiwan as one of its provinces. Beijing has long vowed to bring Taiwan under its control and has not ruled out the use of force to do so.
Taiwan’s government strongly objects to China’s sovereignty claims and says only the island’s 23 million people can decide its future.
Tensions surrounding Taiwan were due to be part of Harris’s speech to American sailors, sources with knowledge about her thinking said.
“She will get into threats to the international rules-based order and how she sees them,” including recent provocations across the Taiwan Strait, explained a senior administration official.
The official, quoted by Reuters news agency, declined to be identified, previewing Harris’ remarks. “She will speak about that and what we are doing to push back against those efforts and stand up for the international rules and norms that have guided this region.”
Harris was to address sailors at the world’s largest overseas U.S. Naval installation at Yokosuka, outside Tokyo.
The base is home to 24,000 military and civilian workers, as well as the USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier currently in South Korea to participate in joint drills meant to deter North Korea.
Harris will visit the demilitarized zone separating the Koreas on Thursday, officials said.
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