HANOI — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris turned her consideration to points surrounding worker rights and civil liberties Thursday as she closed out her go to to Southeast Asia, elevating activists in a area of the world recognized for its challenges and restrictions to human rights.
In Vietnam, Harris participated in what her crew billed as a “changemakers” occasion with activists engaged on LGBTQ rights and local weather change.
“It is vital that if we’re to tackle the challenges we face that we do it in a means that’s collaborative, that we should empower leaders in each sector, together with in fact authorities however neighborhood leaders, enterprise leaders, civic society if we’re to maximise the sources we collectively have,” Harris stated.
Later Thursday, Harris will communicate at a news convention earlier than starting the journey again to the U.S.
Vietnam has been criticized for restrictions on freedom of expression and the press, widespread violence towards ladies in the nation and its crackdown on people it deems political dissidents. While Harris spoke about the necessity to defend ladies and rights for transgender folks, she expressed no criticism of the federal government of Vietnam for its abuses whereas reporters have been in the room.
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The occasions have been capping off a weeklong journey that took Harris to Singapore and Vietnam in a bid to strengthen U.S. relations with the 2 international locations and affirm the dedication to a area that’s grown more and more essential to U.S. efforts to counter China’s affect globally.
The vice chairman spent the week meeting with leaders in each nations to debate methods in which the U.S. can deepen financial and protection ties. She unveiled new agreements with Singapore to fight cyberthreats and sort out local weather change, and support to Vietnam to develop financial alternatives and fight the coronavirus, amongst different issues.
While Harris has emphasised that her go to to Southeast Asia is meant to foster a constructive relationship with international locations in the area and develop U.S. cooperation and involvement, she additionally spent the go to ramping up Biden administration rhetoric towards China, issuing repeated warnings to the nation to finish its aggression in the disputed South China Sea.
“We want to search out methods to stress and elevate the stress, frankly, on Beijing to abide by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and to problem its bullying and extreme maritime claims,” she stated Wednesday.
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Harris averted the unscripted gaffes that overshadowed her first international journey, to Guatemala and Mexico in the spring, the place her declaration to migrants — “don’t come” — and her flip dismissal of questions on her refusal to go to the border drew criticism from each side of the aisle. Harris took questions from reporters at a number of factors that journey, and sat for an prolonged cable news interview.
In Asia, Harris stayed targeted on her conferences with officers and Biden administration speaking factors on China. While questions surrounding the messy U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan dominated her first day in Singapore, Harris emphasised the identical message delivered by President Joe Biden and his aides — that the U.S. should stay targeted on the evacuations, and not recriminations about what went improper.
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But she was sure to face extra questions on Afghanistan, the U.S. confrontation with China and its engagement in the Indo-Pacific throughout her news convention Thursday.
On her journey house, Harris will cease at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii to satisfy with servicemembers. Then she’ll flip her focus to U.S. politics at an occasion in the San Francisco space for California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who’s going through a recall try.