Posted by on September 23, 2022 2:42 pm
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Taiwan on the agenda when Harris meets Indo-Pacific leaders in Japan and Korea

Vice President Kamala Harris waits outside the Vice President’s official residence in the U.S. Naval Observatory compound to meet South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Taiwan on the agenda when Harris meets Indo-Pacific leaders in Japan and Korea

Katherine Doyle September 23, 02:05 PMSeptember 23, 02:07 PM Video Embed

Vice President Kamala Harris will lead a delegation to Japan for Shinzo Abe’s state funeral next week and travel to South Korea, holding leader meetings that will focus on threats to Taiwan, regional security, and economic cooperation.

Harris will convene with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the eve of Abe’s funeral on Sept. 27 and meet with leaders from South Korea and Australia while in Tokyo.

“You can assume that Taiwan will come up” during Harris’s meetings with Prime Ministers Anthony Albanese of Australia and Han Duck-soo of South Korea, a senior administration official told reporters.

The official said this would be a chance for the vice president to discuss “the way forward” with Japan’s and Korea’s leaders on deterring an attack on the island from China.

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Asked whether Harris would visit the Demilitarized Zone while in South Korea, the official declined to comment. He said the trip was intended to “demonstrate our solidarity with South Korean allies on the threat posed by the North.”

Harris will also discuss U.S. investment in climate technology, the official said.

Criticism of U.S. climate efforts hung over President Joe Biden’s visit to the United Nations General Assembly this week, where South Korea’s president was overheard branding members of Congress as “idiots” who could pose a source of embarrassment for Biden.

“It would be so humiliating for Biden if these idiots don’t pass it in Congress,” President Yoon Suk-yeol was overheard telling a group of aides after meeting with Biden.

Harris will meet with Yoon in Seoul.

Abe, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, was assassinated in July.

“The visit to Japan will build on Abe’s legacy,” a senior administration official said. “That is delivering important results … on the security side.”

The White House stressed that the focus of the visit would be remembering Abe.

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“Kishida has put together a fine tribute to a great leader, great friend of the United States,” the official said.

The delegation led by Harris includes Biden’s Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, trade envoy Katherine Tai, former George W. Bush national security adviser Stephen Hadley and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and former Ambassadors to Japan Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Caroline Kennedy.

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