Kamala Harris Vows US Will ‘Open’ South China Sea After It Deals With ‘Priority’ Afghanistan Pullout

Harris and the US administration has faced harsh criticism over her Asian tour, organised amid the problem-stricken withdrawal from Afghanistan and chaos at the Kabul Airport, as well as the failure to evacuate all of the Afghans who helped NATO forces.

Vice President Kamala Harris has stressed that the US will continue to strive to keep the Indo-Pacific region “free and open” during a visit to Singapore, adding, however, that Washington is currently preoccupied with issues in Afghanistan, which she called a “higher priority”.

When the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan finally ends, America will be shifting its gaze to the Indo-Pacific region, according to Harris’ statements amid her visit to Singapore and meeting with the country’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Halimah Yacob.

The US vice president promised that Washington will work closely with its local allies and partners in order to “uphold the rules based international order, and freedom of navigation, including in the South China Sea”. Harris went on to urge people not to draw parallels between America’s commitments to its Indo-Pacific partners and Afghanistan, where, according to many, the US failed to live up to its promises. President Joe Biden previously claimed that Washington had never pledged or planned to engage in nation-building in Afghanistan, saying it only invaded the nation to eradicate al-Qaeda*.

US Military Presence in the South China Sea

The VP’s pledge of American assistance…

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