Vice President Kamala Harris has vowed that the United States will continue its "enduring engagement" in Southeast Asia amid concerns triggered by its hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan and the chaotic rush of thousands of civilians fleeing the war-wracked country.
Speaking on August 23 during a visit to Singapore as part of U.S. efforts to counter China's growing economic and security influence in the region, Harris offered reassurances of Washington's commitment to Southeast Asia.
"Our administration is committed to enduring engagement in Singapore, into Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific," Harris said.
"The reason I am here is because the United States is a global leader, and we take that role seriously."
U.S. President Joe Biden has been subjected to criticism at home and abroad over his handling of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan and the evacuation after a blitz takeover by the Taliban.
Singapore is one of the United States' strongest security partners in the region, with deep trade ties.
The country is home to the biggest port in Southeast Asia, and backs continued free navigation in the area, where China is growing increasingly assertive.
Harris will also visit Vietnam as part of her trip to the region.