On Sunday, US Vice President Kamala Harrill will depart for the Philippines.
During it, she will highlight the American commitment to the defense of the Philippines.
Kamala Harris will meet with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr on Monday.
Manila. US Vice President Kamala Harris will highlight America’s commitment to her defense during her visit to the Philippines starting on Sunday. During his trip to the Philippines, Harris will also visit Palawan, an island province whose coast borders the disputed South China Sea. America has accused China of threatening smaller claimant countries in the South China Sea.
A senior US administration official said in an online pre-trip briefing that after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Thailand, Harris will fly to Manila on Sunday evening and meet President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday. The official said the talks were aimed at cementing Washington’s oldest treaty alliance in Asia and strengthening economic ties.
Harris said his visit to Thailand was “very successful”. He reiterated America’s commitment to the region on Sunday afternoon during a panel discussion on climate change. A panel of climate activists, civil society members and industry leaders discussed clean energy and the threat climate change poses to the Mekong River. More than 60 million people in Southeast Asia use this river for food, water, and transportation.
Harris announced that the United States plans to provide up to $20 million for clean energy in the region through the Japan-US Mekong Energy Partnership. Prior to her flight, Harris stopped at a local market and chatted with traders. She will fly to Palawan province on the South China Sea coast on Tuesday to meet with fishermen, villagers, officials and coastguards.
The South China Sea dispute involves China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. According to Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Commodore Armand Balilo, the Philippine Coast Guard will receive Harris aboard one of its largest patrol vessels, BRP Teresa Magbanua in Palawan. Harris will also deliver a speech there. The US official said Harris would stress the importance of international law, unfettered trade and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
Responding to a question, the official said China can view the visit as it wishes, but the message from Washington is that as a member of the Indo-Pacific, the United States is committed to the security of their allies in the region. . Jose Manuel Romualdez, the Philippine ambassador to Washington, said Harris’ visit to Palawan reflected US support for an ally and the level of concern over China’s actions in the disputed sea.
FIRST POST: November 20, 2022, 6:46 PM HST