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US Vice President Harris in Singapore to Start Asia Trip

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is in Singapore for talks Monday at the start of a short trip to Southeast Asia. She took part in a welcome ceremony before heading to meetings with President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.Harris will also make a stop Monday at the Changi Naval Base, where she will speak to U.S. sailors aboard the visiting USS Tulsa.    Late Tuesday, Harris arrives in Vietnam, becoming the first U.S. vice president to visit Hanoi, as Washington seeks to bolster international support to counter China’s growing global influence. She will speak with both Singaporean and Vietnamese officials about security, climate change, the pandemic and “joint efforts to promote a rules-based international order,” spokesperson Symone Sanders said.Harris Will Be First US Vice President to Visit HanoiWhite House confirms trip, says Harris ‘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’Her visit would follow Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s late July trip to the same two countries plus the Philippines and Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s virtual meetings August 4 with counterparts from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations at an annual summit.US Seen Bolstering Military Links in Southeast Asia to Counter China US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Hanoi and Manila this week to advocate ‘integrated deterrence’ among Southeast Asian statesThe trip appears to be a continuation of the Biden administration’s efforts to counter China’s influence in a crucial yet wary region of 660 million people, experts say. Southeast Asian nations have long valued the U.S. role in their “security,” according to a Foreign Policy Research Institute research organization analysis released in June.    Washington periodically sends warships, sells arms and helps train troops. The 10-member Southeast Asian bloc, however, opposes overtly siding with any outside power, though, the analysis said. Ralph Jennings contributed to this article. 

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