WASHINGTON -- U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Singapore and Vietnam in August, the White House said Friday, as Washington seeks to bolster ties with the two key Asia-Pacific partners.
This will mark the first time an American vice president visits Vietnam. Harris will meet with leaders to discuss issues ranging from regional security to climate change to the coronavirus pandemic.
Harris aims to "strengthen relationships and expand economic cooperation with two critical Indo-Pacific partners of the United States," the White House said in a statement.
By putting in face time with leaders even as infections rise, the U.S. seeks to demonstrate its commitment to the region amid a tug of war with China.
The trip will follow Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's Southeast Asia tour wrapping up Friday.
"I am delighted to welcome Vice President Harris on her first official visit to Singapore," Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a statement. "I look forward to our discussions on strengthening bilateral cooperation and working together on global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change."
This will mark Harris' second overseas trip as vice president. The first, to Guatemala and Mexico, focused on addressing illegal immigration at the U.S.'s southern border. A strong showing in the Asia visit could burnish her foreign policy credentials, now viewed as a weak point for a figure seen as a potential presidential candidate.