Vice President Kamala Harris will be facing a new challenge when she travels to Singapore and Vietnam next week to fight China’s rising influence: the fall of Afghanistan, which has caused friends to doubt the US’s foreign policy commitments, Reuters reports.
Allies of the United States have expressed dissatisfaction with President Joe Biden’s plan to remove American military assistance from Afghanistan by August 31, despite his vows to recommit to global involvement.
Analysts claim that with the Taliban’s fast takeover putting their national security interests in jeopardy, European and Asian countries are questioning if it is possible to count on Washington to keep lasting security pledges.
The vice president’s tour attempts to strengthen relations with Southeast Asia, which the U.S. sees as critical to containing Chinese growth. Harris’s focus, according to a senior White House official, would be on upholding international rules in the South China Sea, boosting American regional leadership, and increasing military ties.
Regional analysts like as Murray Hiebert of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington say Harris will need to persuade her hosts that U.S.’s pledge to Southeast Asia is strong, not akin to Afghanistan.
According to him, the failure in Afghanistan would rekindle worries about the United States’ ability to maintain power and honor pledges to friends.
Harris is scheduled to arrive in Singapore on Sunday and she is going to be the first American vice president to tour Vietnam. She returns to the United States two days later.