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South China Sea

Kamala Harris to visit Philippine island near China dispute

VP's stop on Palawan has message: U.S. is engaged in Indo-Pacific

This aerial photo from 2015 shows a Chinese development on a reef in the disputed Spratly Islands, close to Palawan.   © Getty Images

NEW YORK -- U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday will visit an island on the edge of the South China Sea and close to the disputed Spratly Islands during her trip to the Philippines.

Harris will be the highest American official to tour Palawan Island, and her trip could raise tensions with Beijing, given the island's proximity to the disputed islands, where China has dredged the sea floor to build land and advance its claims to an area rich in oil and gas. Parts of the islands are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

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