Kamala Harris will become the first United States vice-president to visit Vietnam to boost ties during a trip that will also include Singapore next month, the White House announced Friday.
During the trip, the vice-president will discuss with the leaders of Vietnam and Singapore regional security, the global response to COVID-19, climate change, and joint efforts to promote a rules-based international order, the White House said.
The trip to the two Southeast Asian countries is aimed to strengthen relationships and expand economic cooperation with two critical Indo-Pacific partners of the U.S., Harris’s spokeswoman Symone Sanders said in a statement.
The visits will also enhance the strong cultural and people-to-people relations between the U.S and these countries, the statement said, without providing details on the dates of the trip.
“Vice-President Harris will be the first vice-president to ever visit Vietnam,” said Sanders.
“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,” the White House said.
The specific dates for Harris’s trip are still being worked on, Reuters said, citing diplomats.
The travel to Vietnam and Singapore by Harris demonstrates the U.S.’s long-term commitment to a prosperous and secure Southeast Asia, the Straits Times quoted Dr. Patrick Cronin, chair for Asia-Pacific security at the Hudson Institute in Washington, as saying.
Harris’s visit would be significant to highlight Washington’s commitment to Southeast Asia, Reuters cited analysts as saying.
Some analysts also think that it could result in more pledges of U.S. vaccines to this region, which has recently suffered from COVID-19.
The upcoming trip of Harris is the second international trip in office after she visited Guatemala and Mexico in June in an effort to lower numbers of migrants from this area to the U.S.