Vice President Kamala Harris’ departure for Vietnam was delayed for several hours on Tuesday after the US Embassy in Hanoi informed its office of a “report of a recent abnormal health incident.”
The US government often uses this term to refer to the unexplained “Havana Syndrome” that has afflicted hundreds of diplomats and other US officials in recent years.
“Earlier in the evening, the Vice President’s traveling delegation was delayed from leaving Singapore because the Vice President’s office was made aware of a report of a recent abnormal health incident in Hanoi,” in Vietnam, ”said Rachael Chen, spokesperson for the US Embassy in Hanoi. , in a report. “After careful evaluation, the decision was made to continue the Vice President’s trip.”
Ms Harris took off from Singapore on Air Force Two after more than three hours of delay.
When the plane arrived in Hanoi, Harris spokeswoman Symone Sanders told reporters that the vice president “is fine, everything is fine and [she’s] looking forward to meetings in Hanoi tomorrow.
“It has nothing to do with the health of the vice president,” Ms. Sanders said.
Earlier in Singapore, Harris criticized China for trying to “intimidate” its neighboring South China Sea states. She said China does not abide by international rules accepted in the region.
“We know that Beijing continues to coerce, intimidate and claim the vast majority of the South China Sea,” she said in a speech. “Beijing’s actions continue to undermine the rules-based order and threaten the sovereignty of nations. The United States stands with our allies and partners in the face of these threats. “
Beijing has claimed most of the vast sea, a major shipping route bordering Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan. International tensions have intensified in recent months.
Ms Harris said the region is “of critical importance to the security and prosperity of our country”.
“Our partnerships in Singapore, Southeast Asia and throughout the Indo-Pacific are a top priority for the United States,” she said, adding that the United States was not seeking to force the countries of the region to choose between Washington and Beijing.