MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States of America, has arrived in the Philippines for her three-day state visit.
On Sunday, at around 6:52 pm, Harris arrived in the country after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. The highest-ranking American official to visit the Philippines is accompanied by her husband, the Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff.
A report by Reuters describes the visit as an attempt “to reset relations” and revive the ties between the two countries, especially during China’s “increasingly assertive policies towards Taiwan.”
Harris will meet with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte on Monday, November 21.
The leaders are expected to discuss the meetings of Marcos with Xi Jinping last Thursday and Joe Biden’s meeting with the Chinese leader on Monday.
Despite the growing tension between China and Washington, Harris said she had told Xi that Washington did not seek confrontation with China. The two met during the APEC summit in Thailand on Saturday.
Harris to visit Palawan
On November 22, the US official will visit Palawan, one of the Philippines’ closest territories to the disputed South China Sea.
Harris is expected to meet with “residents, civil society leaders, and representatives of the Philippines Coast Guard” and deliver a symbolic message to China.
The Vice President’s trip may frustrate Beijing. However, Philippine defense department spokesman Arsenio Andolong said there was no reason for China to fear Harris’ visit.
“We have no engagement with her during her visit,” said Andolong. “So there should be no reason for any of our neighbors to feel threatened.”
Last Saturday, Marcos also said that the US official’s visit would not negatively affect the relationship between China and the Philippines.
“I don’t see why they should. She is in the Philippines, and she is visiting another part of the Philippines. And, of course, it is the closest area to the South China Sea, but it’s very clearly on Philippine territory, so I don’t think there should be… I don’t think it will cause any problems,” Marcos said.– WhatALife!
Also read: Joe Biden congratulates Marcos, wants to continue stronger PH-US ties
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