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Harris dives into Asian diplomacy amid questions back home about her political future


Palawan, Philippines
CNN

vice president Kamala Harris Democrats are sticking to her script as they respond to what they hope will be their biggest campaign mobilization yet again: Donald Trump and his Third White House bid.

“The president said he was going to run. If he does, I will run with him,” she told CNN on Tuesday. I was speaking to a group of reporters aboard the Guard’s ship, Teresa Magvanua.

Her cautious reaction after a week of silent trips to Thailand and the Philippines may reflect Harris’ second year as vice president.

When she returns from Asia, she is reeling from anxiety about her place within the party if President Joe Biden, now 80, does not seek a second term. The president is expected to review the decision with his family over Thanksgiving and the upcoming vacation, and will ask his family for advice on running for re-election.

Harris’ trip to Asia, the third since taking office, is another demonstration of his ability to lead in the traditional fashion of a vice presidency without surpassing his second-place role for the United States’ first South Asian vice president. It was an opportunity.

She attended a series of bilateral meetings and exchanged greetings with Asian prime ministers and presidents, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, as well as an Asia-Pacific economic cooperation (APEC) summit that could heighten tensions with China. launched and made a symbolic visit to Palawan, the archipelago of the Philippines.

Along with Biden in Washington, D.C. for his granddaughter’s wedding, Harris aimed primarily at deepening ties with friendly Asian nations and casting the US as the region’s best option for economic stability. During his visits, he continued in his role as chief envoy. Continued efforts to counter China’s growing influence.

The vice president called the visit a success, brandishing his policy trump card in the region and trying to be a deft leader to speak for Biden in his absence.

“It is very important that we are here today to reiterate our commitment to international rules and norms. It was also to show the strength and importance of our relationship with the related Philippines,” Harris said in a speech in Palawan, rejecting China’s aggression. , to deepen security ties.

Still, Harris’ events were meticulously scripted, and the trip itself was highly choreographed.

As her office explained, Harris’ “brief greeting” with Xi was her first direct meeting with a world leader on the edge of APEC. It was perhaps the most high-profile moment of Harris’ trip, even though no U.S. press was in the room to witness it. met with Biden a week later and lasted three hours.

But unlike the president, who can share as much conversation as he likes, there was a clear limit to how much Harris was comfortable sharing. She repeatedly refused to go far beyond what was written in her carefully calculated statement about her meeting with President Xi.

“We’ve talked about maintaining open communication, we’re not looking for conflict or confrontation, but we welcome competition,” Harris told reporters at a press conference concluding his visit to Thailand. rice field. Or Taiwan.

If staying gaffe-free was the goal, the plan seems to have paid off. The Republican National Committee was an extraordinary treatment of one of the most attacked Democrats, simply clipping a Twitter moment that might have been awkward but didn’t amount to genuine criticism.

Harris ‘deeply concerned’ on opening day of APEC after North Korea launches long-range ballistic missile rice field. Missile Friday morning – her second high-profile moment on the trip.

White House officials said Harris led her team after being briefed on the latest launch, White House officials said, taking advantage of the presence of the Indo-Pacific nations at the APEC summit to do so. At the head of a U-shaped table in a small room at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, the vice president accused North Korea of ​​”brazen violations of multiple UN security resolutions.”

“This recent act by North Korea is a brazen violation of multiple UN security resolutions. It destabilizes regional security and unnecessarily increases tension. We reiterate our call on North Korea to stop further unlawful destabilization,” Harris said. “On behalf of the United States, I reaffirmed our firm commitment to the Indo-Pacific Alliance.”

Her statement was largely in line with what the National Security Council announced hours earlier on behalf of Biden.

Due to the last-minute nature of the meeting, the aide moved swiftly to corral the US press, but lacked time to pre-set the cameras, so the US, Japanese, Australian, New Zealand and South Korean media outlets I was fighting for an angle. -op Visuals can be choppy and skewed.

Still, when a Russian-made missile fell within Indonesia’s borders, it was almost a presidency for Harris because it was reminiscent of the impromptu face-to-face meetings Biden convened with key allies on his final day at Indonesia’s G20. It was a moment that looked like NATO allies.

But the president’s stance had its limits. During the week-long trip, the Vice President only answered two separate political and policy questions from a group of all-female reporters traveling with her from Washington. Two or three questions each time he was asked.

While careful not to overstep Biden’s position on many issues, Harris never strayed from the point of her response.

Harris has long sought an opportunity to show his interest and make his way as a young vice president with presidential ambitions.

Nationally, she has spearheaded the administration of abortion rights. Also on her travels abroad, Harris told her entourage that she wanted to go outside the box when it came to her schedule, a large part of which was meeting women and families from different countries.

That directive was evident when she attended a moderated conversation on women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship in the Sofitel ballroom in Manila.

“I think we all know about the issue of women’s financial well-being, and we strongly feel that if we improve a woman’s economic status, her family will also improve. will be released,” said Harris, and the Filipino women nodded in agreement. She said, “Society as a whole benefits. It improves the economic status of women so that society as a whole benefits.”

In a Palawan fishing village in Tagbros, Harris watched women clean fish in front of a beautiful backdrop and spoke of the devastation climate change and illegal fishing have brought to the village.

“Hello ma’am,” they shouted as she approached. Harris’ interpreter introduced the women as her best friends.

“My best friend,” Harris waved, laughing.

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