- Vice President Kamala Harris is poised to travel to Vietnam and Singapore next month.
- This trip will occur amid ongoing efforts from the Biden administration to check China’s growing influence.
- Harris will be the first vice president in US history to visit Vietnam.
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Vice President Kamala Harris is set to visit Vietnam and Singapore in August, which comes as the Biden administration continues efforts to curb China’s influence across the globe – and particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.
“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 Southeast Asia,” the vice president’s spokesperson, Symone Sanders, said on Friday.
Sanders said Harris will be the first vice president in US history to visit Vietnam, and will “engage the leaders of both governments on issues of mutual interest, including regional security, the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and our joint efforts to promote a rules-based international order.”
The Biden administration has repeatedly accused China of breaching international norms and rules, while President Joe Biden has framed the escalating competition for hegemony between Beijing and Washington as a battle between democracy and autocracy.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government has alleged that the US has a “Cold War mentality.” A top Chinese diplomat on Monday said the US has turned China into an “imaginary enemy” in order to suppress it and take attention away from domestic problems. “As if once China’s development is suppressed, US domestic and external problems will be resolved, and America will be great again, and America’s hegemony can be continued,” China’s Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said, per Reuters.
The trip to Vietnam and Singapore could help raise Harris’s profile and boost her foreign policy credentials. It will mark her second trip abroad as vice president, following a rocky trip to Guatemala and Mexico. Harris faced criticism over remarks she made during a press conference with Guatemala’s president, during which she bluntly told migrants “do not come” to the US.