Nations must be willing to take on challenges together and create opportunities together, says Vice President Kamala Harris.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AA) – US Vice President Kamala Harris said on Tuesday that Washington’s partnerships with Southeast Asian and Indo-Pacific countries would be a top priority.
Speaking during her visit to Singapore as part of a tour through Asia, Harris said the world was embarking on a new era, with new challenges including cyber security and new opportunities such as clean energy, reported the South China Morning Post daily.
“The fact is, our world is more interconnected and interdependent, and in order to embrace this new era, nations must be willing to take on challenges together and create opportunities together,” said Harris.
“That is why our partnerships in Singapore, in Southeast Asia, and throughout the Indo-Pacific are a top priority for the United States,” she added.
Harris said the US’ exports to the region supports 4 million American jobs and in 2019, the country conducted nearly two trillion dollars of two-way trade.
She noted that partnership with Singapore further strengthens US connections to the Indo-Pacific region, in trade, as well as in the economy, investment, defense, and others.
“Yesterday, I visited Changi naval base. The US Navy ship, the USS Tulsa, is docked there right now, a symbol of a deep an enduring security partnership between our nations,” said the vice president.
Addressing the issue of maritime security, Harris said China continues to coerce, intimidate, and claim vast swathes of the South China Sea.
She said such actions “threaten the sovereignty” of nations. “The United States stands with our allies and partners in the face of these threats.”
Harris also talked about joint efforts to fight COVID-19, saying that of the 110 million doses of vaccines shipped worldwide by the US, more than 23 million have been delivered to Southeast Asia.
“It is important to note that these are donations. Free of charge with no stings attached,” she said, sharing Washington’s vision of a world with stronger global health security.
Harris concluded her speech by condemning the “campaign of violent repression” in Myanmar, where the military has been in power since a coup in February, and declared the US’ commitment to support the people as they work to return their nation to the path of democracy.