Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

U.S. VP Harris forges on with Vietnam trip despite mystery 'health incident'

WorldAug 24, 2021 04:41PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris attends a roundtable at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore before departing for Vietnam on the second leg of her Asia trip, August, 24, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool 2/2

By James Pearson and Nandita Bose

HANOI (Reuters) - Vice President Kamala Harris pushed ahead with a trip to Vietnam on Tuesday after delaying the visit over concerns due to a health incident potentially related to the mysterious Havana syndrome.

Harris arrived in the Southeast Asian country's capital after a three-hour delay in Singapore that the U.S. government blamed on reports that someone in Hanoi may have been targeted by the Havana syndrome, a condition of unknown origin with symptoms including dizziness, nausea, migraines and memory lapses.

The incident upstaged a bid by President Joe Biden's top deputy to woo the allies Washington hopes will help it challenge China's assertive foreign policy in the region.

Beijing, meanwhile, attempted to stage its own diplomatic coup with a surprise meeting in Vietnam and a donation of 2 million COVID-19 vaccines to the country.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Havana syndrome case was reported in Vietnam before Harris' departure but not confirmed. A safety assessment was done before sending Harris to the country, she said.

"The Vice President's office was made aware of a report of a recent possible anomalous health incident in Hanoi," the local U.S. Embassy said.

Some 200 U.S. officials and kin, including CIA officers, have been sickened https://www.reuters.com/world/us/about-100-cia-officers-family-members-afflicted-by-havana-syndrome-cia-chief-2021-07-22 by "Havana syndrome," CIA Director William Burns has said.

A U.S. National Academy of Sciences panel in December found that a plausible theory is that "directed energy" beams caused the syndrome, which is so named because it first was reported by American officials based in the U.S. embassy in Cuba in 2016.

The CIA sees a "very strong possibility" that the syndrome is intentionally caused, and that Russia could be responsible, but is withholding definitive conclusions pending further investigation. Moscow denies involvement.

VIETNAM SAYS IT PICKS NO SIDES

The incident came as Washington faces icy relations with another global competitor, China.

As Harris's trip to Vietnam was delayed, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held the unannounced meeting with Chinese Ambassador Xiong Bo, during which Chinh said Vietnam does not align itself with one country against any other.

Earlier on Tuesday, Harris had accused https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/kamala-harris-says-beijing-continues-coerce-south-china-sea-2021-08-24 Beijing of coercion and intimidation to back claims in the South China Sea, her most pointed comments on China during a visit to Southeast Asia, a region she said is critical to U.S. security.

"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 government said in a statement.

"Vietnam does not align itself with one country against another," it said.

Territorial disputes in the South China Sea should be settled according to international law and "high-level common sense," it said.

The U.S. administration has called 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 U.S.," said Murray Hiebert, a Southeast Asia expert at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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

Vietnam had successfully contained the coronavirus for most of last year but since April has been dealing with a large COVID-19 outbreak in Ho Chi Minh City, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus. Just under 2% of its 98 million people are fully vaccinated.

U.S. VP Harris forges on with Vietnam trip despite mystery 'health incident'
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (2)
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Aug 24, 2021 11:18AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Obviously Kamala Harris doesn't take the threat seriously. She's going anyway
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Aug 24, 2021 11:18AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
The CIA has had two years to render an opinion on this health phenomena and they're still claiming they need more time to invest
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email