Vice President Kamala Harris briefly delayed a flight from Singapore to Vietnam on Tuesday after her workplace was made conscious of what the State Division known as a “potential anomalous well being incident” in Hanoi.
Authorities officers have used that language to explain what’s extra generally known as Havana Syndrome, a sequence of unexplained medical signs first skilled by State Division personnel stationed in Cuba starting in late 2016.
After an evaluation, the choice was made to proceed the journey, the State Division stated.
Through the two-day journey to Singapore, Ms. Harris made the case for the U.S. to strengthen its financial ties with Southeast Asia, the place she burdened the necessity to work with international locations to ease supply-chain constraints as a surge of Covid-19 instances has hit factories within the area.
Ms. Harris stated Tuesday she mentioned the supply-chain issues extensively with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong throughout their bilateral conferences. She additionally held a roundtable with enterprise leaders within the nation, which included representatives from chip maker GlobalFoundries Singapore Pte. Ltd., 3M Southeast Asia Pte. Ltd. and Procter & Gamble Co., to debate methods to make use of the financial restoration from the Covid-19 pandemic as a possibility to bolster supply-chain resiliency between the U.S. and the area.
“There’s a lot specifically in regards to the pandemic that highlighted the fractures, and the failures and the fissures in our system,” Ms. Harris stated within the assembly. “And this second provides us the chance then born out of disaster to truly repair and discover options to long-term points which have challenged us.”
The Biden administration has been working to deal with a world semiconductor scarcity, which has precipitated manufacturing slowdowns in merchandise from home equipment to computer systems and vehicles. A surge in Covid-19 instances within the largely unvaccinated area has additionally led to lockdowns in international locations together with Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia—main exporters of electronics and different items—that pressured manufacturing unit closures and additional disrupted world provide chains.
The vp’s emphasis on partnering with international locations in Southeast Asia on supply-chain issues can be a part of the administration’s efforts to reaffirm its engagement within the area, as China seeks to extend its affect and broaden its claims within the South China Sea.
Ms. Harris known as out China for its maritime actions on Tuesday. “We all know that Beijing continues to coerce, to intimidate and to make claims to the overwhelming majority of the South China Sea,” she stated. “Beijing’s actions proceed to undermine the rules-based order and threaten the sovereignty of countries,” she added.
The White Home introduced throughout Ms. Harris’s journey that it might launch a dialogue between the U.S. and Singapore centered on provide chains, and a brand new partnership between the U.S. Division of Commerce and the Singapore Ministry of Commerce and Business aimed toward serving to deal with supply-chain points.
The U.S. can be providing to host the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation, the Pacific Rim’s largest regional financial discussion board, in 2023, Ms. Harris stated.
Aaron Connelly, a Singapore-based researcher with the Worldwide Institute for Strategic Research, a London-based suppose tank, stated that the U.S. and Southeast Asia have completely different priorities on provide chains however that their pursuits typically overlap.
“The U.S. needs to make sure that its provide chains, significantly on vital applied sciences like semiconductors, should not in danger as a result of financial integration with China,” Mr. Connelly stated. “To the extent that Southeast Asia can profit from that, for instance the brand new [U.S.-based GlobalFoundries] semiconductor foundry being constructed right here, that’s good. However the broader concern right here is that decoupling will drive Southeast Asia to decide on between two unique provide chains.”
Chong Ja Ian, a professor of political science on the Nationwide College of Singapore, stated Ms. Harris’s feedback on U.S. financial pursuits gave the impression to be a pitch to get help domestically for continued engagement in Southeast Asia.
Mr. Chong added that Ms. Harris’s remarks on supply-chain cooperation nonetheless lack particulars on goals and subsequent steps. “That’s what to be careful for subsequent, however there’s not that a lot substantive proper now,” he stated.
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