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China undermined Harris’ Vietnam vaccine outreach by capitalizing on flight delay: report

The Chinese language authorities seized on a scheduling delay throughout Vice President Kamala Harris’ ongoing journey to Vietnam to undercut the White Home’s deliberate outreach relating to COVID-19 vaccine provide, in accordance with a report Wednesday.

Harris was set to announce a U.S. donation of 1 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine as a part of a broader effort to domesticate nearer ties with Vietnam and counteract Beijing’s affect within the area.

When Harris’ crew skilled a three-hour delay forward of her deliberate assembly with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, China despatched its personal diplomat to fulfill with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and provide two million vaccine doses, the Washington Submit reported.

The Vietnamese prime minister thanked Beijing’s diplomat and stated Vietnam “doesn’t ally with one nation to combat in opposition to one other,” in accordance with Vietnamese state-run media.

The White Home couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon the report.

China donated its two million doses to Vietnam’s army, whereas the U.S. donation was for the nation’s normal inhabitants. In all, the U.S. has donated six million doses to Vietnam.

Beijing’s last-minute transfer was the newest signal of the rising geopolitical rivalry between the U.S. and China. Harris known as on Vietnam to hitch the Biden administration to counteract China’s effort to develop its affect within the South China Sea regardless of worldwide opposition.

“We have to discover methods to strain and lift the strain, frankly, on Beijing to abide by the United Nations Conference on the Regulation of the Sea, and to problem its bullying and extreme maritime claims,” Harris stated on the assembly.

Harris expressed assist for the deployment of one other U.S. Coast Guard vessel to assist defend Vietnam’s pursuits within the South China Sea. She added that the U.S. would “keep a robust presence” within the area.

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Harris’ flight to Vietnam was delayed by hours on Tuesday amid considerations a couple of attainable case of “Havana Syndrome,” a mysterious sickness that has already sickened greater than 200 U.S. authorities officers all over the world, in accordance with CIA Director William Burns. Earlier this week, White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated the case was not but confirmed. 

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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