US Vice President Kamala Harris met with high officers in Singapore on Monday, reaffirming Washington’s dedication to work with companions and allies.
Her go to comes towards the backdrop of the US’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban takeover, which have raised questions on Washington’s credibility.
Throughout a press convention alongside Singapore’s chief, the vice chairman repeatedly insisted that the US might be counted on.
“Our administration is dedicated to enduring engagement in Singapore, into Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific,” Harris instructed reporters.
“The rationale I’m right here is as a result of the US is a worldwide chief, and we take that function critically,” she stated.
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong welcomed her “reassurances on American intentions within the area, and on this planet.”
Harris’ journey to Southeast Asia, which additionally features a cease in Vietnam, goals to bolster ties with international locations within the area seen as key in countering Chinese language affect.
US ‘targeted on Afghanistan evacuations’
Throughout a joint press convention with Lee, Harris stated the US was targeted on evacuation efforts happening in Afghanistan.
“There may be going to be loads of time to research what has occurred and what has taken place within the context of the withdrawal from Afghanistan,” she stated.
“However proper now we’re singularly targeted on evacuating Americans, Afghans who’ve labored with us, and Afghans who’re weak, together with girls and kids, and that’s our singular focus at the moment,” stated Harris.
Lee stated Singapore would supply transport plane to assist with evacuations.
Harris thanked him for the “beneficiant supply,” which got here after the US stated it could draft industrial airways to assist with additional evacuation flights from Kabul’s airport on Sunday.
“We hope Afghanistan doesn’t turn into an epicenter for terrorism once more,” Lee stated.
Harris pledges open South China Sea
Harris additionally reaffirmed Washington’s dedication to sustaining a rules-based worldwide order and freedom of navigation within the Indo-Pacific.
The disputed South China Sea has turn into one of many many flashpoints within the testy US-China relationship.
“At this time, we’re in Singapore to emphasize and reaffirm our enduring relationship to this nation and on this area, and to bolster a shared imaginative and prescient of a free and open Indo-Pacific area,” Harris stated.
Lee stated the perceptions of the US’ resolve and dedication to the area can be decided by “what the US does going ahead, the way it repositions itself within the area, the way it engages its broad vary of mates and companions and allies.”
Whereas Singapore shouldn’t be a US treaty ally, it stays an necessary safety companion within the area as Washington seeks to maintain an more and more assertive China in test.
The nation is residence to the most important port in Southeast Asia and helps continued free navigation within the space.