Kamala Harris delayed her journey Vietnam.

Hanoi (Reuters):

Vice President Kamala Harris pushed forward with a visit to Vietnam on Tuesday after delaying the go to over considerations resulting from a well being incident doubtlessly associated to the mysterious Havana syndrome.

Harris arrived within the Southeast Asian nation’s capital after a three-hour delay in Singapore that the US authorities blamed on experiences that somebody in Hanoi might have been focused by the Havana syndrome, a situation of unknown origin with signs together with dizziness, nausea, migraines and reminiscence lapses.

The incident upstaged a bid by President Joe Biden’s prime deputy to woo the allies Washington hopes will assist it problem China’s assertive international coverage within the area.

Beijing, in the meantime, tried to stage its personal diplomatic coup with a shock assembly in Vietnam and a donation of two million COVID-19 vaccines to the nation.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki mentioned the Havana syndrome case was reported in Vietnam earlier than Harris’ departure however not confirmed. A security evaluation was completed earlier than sending Harris to the nation, she mentioned.

“The Vice President’s office was made aware of a report of a recent possible anomalous health incident in Hanoi,” the native US Embassy mentioned.

Some 200 US officers and household, together with CIA officers, have been sickened by “Havana syndrome,” CIA Director William Burns has mentioned.

A US National Academy of Sciences panel in December discovered {that a} believable idea is that “directed energy” beams prompted the syndrome, which is so named as a result of it first was reported by American officers primarily based within the U.S. embassy in Cuba in 2016.

The CIA sees a “very strong possibility” that the syndrome is deliberately prompted, and that Russia could possibly be accountable, however is withholding definitive conclusions pending additional investigation. Moscow denies involvement.

Vietnam Says It Picks No Sides

The incident got here as Washington faces icy relations with one other international competitor, China.

As Harris’s journey to Vietnam was delayed, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held the unannounced assembly with Chinese Ambassador Xiong Bo, throughout which Chinh mentioned Vietnam doesn’t align itself with one nation in opposition to another.

Earlier on Tuesday, Harris had accused Beijing of coercion and intimidation to again claims within the South China Sea, her most pointed feedback on China throughout a go to to Southeast Asia, a area she mentioned is vital to US safety.

“The Prime Minister affirmed that Vietnam adheres to an independent, self-reliant, multilateral, and diverse foreign policy and is a responsible member of the international community,” the Vietnamese authorities mentioned in an announcement.

“Vietnam does not align itself with one country against another,” it mentioned.

Territorial disputes within the South China Sea must be settled in response to worldwide legislation and “high-level common sense,” it mentioned.

The US administration has known as rivalry with China “the biggest geopolitical test” of the century.

“The fact that China’s ambassador insisted on a meeting with the Vietnamese prime minister shortly before Harris landed shows how anxious Beijing is that its communist neighbor may tilt toward the US,” mentioned Murray Hiebert, a Southeast Asia skilled at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies.

During the assembly, Chinh thanked the ambassador for the vaccine donation. It was not instantly clear which vaccine China had donated.

Vietnam had efficiently contained the coronavirus for many of final yr however since April has been coping with a big COVID-19 outbreak in Ho Chi Minh City, pushed by the extremely contagious Delta variant of the virus. Just below 2% of its 98 million individuals are totally vaccinated.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here