United States Vice President Kamala Harris is in town and Singapore seems to be doing all it can to make her feel like home — including stopping traffic, and accommodating a convoy comprising dozens of vehicles each time.
The 56-year-old is in town as part of her first Southeast Asian tour and has been given the VIP treatment since touching down at Paya Lebar Airbase yesterday. Videos circulating online show around 40 vehicles following her wherever she goes.
“Convoy of 28 cars and 16 police outriders when USA’s VP, Kamala Harris moves around, that is really a big protection party,” said the caption on Roads.sg, a Facebook page on all things traffic related. The minute-long clip showed Harris’ convoy the only ones traveling along a road next to what looks like the Intercontinental in Bugis. There were police cars, officers on motorcycles and vans fitted with American and Singaporean flags.
Another video captured the convoy on its way to Shangri-La on Orange Grove Road after picking her up at the airbase yesterday morning, where she was greeted by Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
Singapore and Vietnam are considered as “critical Indo-Pacific partners” of the U.S, according to the embassy, and Harris is expected to strengthen that relationship while expanding economic cooperation during her three-day visit here. She arrived with senior officials from the Vice President’s Office, National Security Council and Department of State.
She will meet President Halimah Yacob at the Istana today and subsequently join Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a press conference. She will deliver a policy speech and engage in a roundtable tomorrow with Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong before leaving for Vietnam.
The Changi Naval Base is also expecting her. Harris is scheduled to board the US littoral combat ship USS Tulsa.
“Thank you Foreign Minister @VivianBala for welcoming me to Singapore. Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific are critically important to the security and prosperity of the United States,” she wrote yesterday.
Harris’ visit comes days after the U.S pulled out of Afghanistan after 20 years, paving the way for Taliban’s takeover that prompted thousands to flee.
Thank you Foreign Minister @VivianBala for welcoming me to Singapore. Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific are critically important to the security and prosperity of the United States. pic.twitter.com/TZjFukDeeA
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) August 22, 2021
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