White House: Harris to visit Vietnam and S’pore

US Vice-President Kamala Harris (pic) will visit Vietnam and Singapore later this month to discuss regional security issues and the global Covid-19 pandemic response, the White House announced.

Harris heads to the South-East Asian nations “to strengthen relationships and expand economic cooperation with two critical Indo-Pacific partners of the United States,” senior adviser Symone Sanders said in a statement on Friday.

Harris, an Asian-American whose mother was of Indian origin, will be the first US vice-president to visit Vietnam.

A schedule for the trip has yet to be released.

Sanders said Harris would discuss regional security, the coronavirus pandemic and climate change with both countries’ leaders.

“President Biden and Vice-President Harris have made it a top priority to rebuild our global partnerships and keep our nation secure, and this upcoming visit continues that work – deepening our engagement in South-East Asia,” said Sanders, adding that Harris would be “the first vice-president to ever visit Vietnam”.

The Biden administration has placed an emphasis on strengthening diplomatic ties with nations in the Indo-Pacific region.

Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin is currently visiting the region, with a focus on offering support for South-East Asian nations embroiled in territorial rifts.

Harris will engage with the two countries’ leaders on regional security, the global response to the pandemic, actions to address climate change, “and our joint efforts to promote a rules-based international order”. — Agencies

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