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Accusing China only exposes Harris' vows as hollow sham: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2021-08-24 20:22
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The national flags of China and the United States. [Photo/Xinhua]

The content of the speech US Vice-President Kamala Harris gave in Singapore on Tuesday was drearily predictable, as she chose to use the occasion to baselessly attack China. It seems that the United States' only commitment to Southeast Asia is its dedicated efforts to drive a wedge between the Southeast Asian nations and China.

While pointing a finger at China and accusing it of "coercion" and "intimidation", Harris willfully ignored her own hypocrisy in attempting to coerce and intimidate regional countries to join Washington in its scheme to contain China.

Claiming the US was seeking to defend a rules-based order in the region, Harris also ignored the fact that countries in the region are already well aware the rules she referred to are those that the US is trying to get them to abide by. And that the rules the US follows permit it to arbitrarily discredit, suppress and coerce other countries.

In fact, the tacit admonishment that countries were too pally with China was probably still ringing in her audience's ears since the US defense secretary berated them for the same thing less than a month ago.

Sending two senior officials within a month to the same country peddling the same theory should alert the administration to the unpopularity of its proposition.

What makes Harris' performance even more ridiculous is that she said that the US "stands with our allies and our partners" while defending the US administration's decision to push ahead with the US pullout from Afghanistan as "courageous and right". Given the historical parallel in the region, the US probably shouldn't be drawing attention to its self-absorbed willfulness.

Countries in the region know what to expect if they let themselves be proxies for the US in its rivalry and confrontation with China. What happened in Kabul, and Saigon in 1975, was not coincidental as the US' only commitment is to its own hegemony, and for that purpose any partner is expendable.

But although countries should be wary of being dragged into the US' shenanigans, there are still a few thinking they can benefit by doing so. Lithuania is one of them. The country has challenged the one-China principle and is hyping up the so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang.

The just-do-it message US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent to his Lithuanian counterpart via telephone on Monday, and the ironclad solidarity he stressed, have driven home which country is directing the farce.

The Southeast Asian nations have enjoyed long-term peace and stability, and have achieved remarkable socioeconomic progress over the past decades, which stem from concerted efforts and broader regional cooperation. None of them should be willing to bet their future on the empty commitment of the US. A country that regards a decision that renders 20 years of war and bloodshed as meaningless and which precipitates humanitarian crises and chaos as being "courageous and right". A country that believes that only it has the moral authority to set the rules the world should abide by.

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