Remarks by Vice President Harris In Press Gaggle
Chief of Mission Residence
1:03 P.M. ICT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, this has been a very productive and important trip to Thailand. Of course, one of the main reasons that we are here is to attend the APEC convening. And the main discussion point there is the importance of the economic benefit to the relationship among the partners and allies in this region.
This is my third trip to the Indo-Pacific region as Vice President and really signifies the significance of the relationship between the United States and our allies and partners in this region.
The discussions that we had included, in large part, a discussion about the significance of the climate crisis and what we can do as the United States to be a leader in that regard.
There was a strong connection between our role of leadership and what we’ve been doing domestically — in the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, for example, where we have committed $370 billion to address this issue. I think that is a point of inspiration and encouragement for other nations in terms of what can be done to meet this moment.
We discussed the supply chain crisis and what nations must do to be committed, especially among allies and partners, to resilience and to what we can do to diversify — understanding that, for many nations, the supply chain issue was exasperated of course by the pandemic but also has been exasperated by Russia’s unprovoked attack on and invasion of Ukraine.
And that then highlights what we must do to address the issue both in terms of, again, diversification, but also what we, for the United States, will do through a lot of the work our administration has been focused on, which is ensuring that we have a domestic basis of manufacturing of some of the essential needs of our people and industries.
So, these were some of the areas of focus. Always, our partnership and relationship with the nations of this region include our security relationships, and what we have done historically and what we will continue to do to focus on ensuring that we are of like mind with our friends and allies around the threats to security for each of our nations and what we can do together through security arrangements and strategic arrangements to collaborate in a way that ensures peace and stability for this region and, of course, for the world.
So, that was a large part of our trip here. It has been, as I said, quite successful. For the Second Gentleman and I, this is our second trip to Thailand. And — and I will tell you that, as — as I think many people know who have traveled here, it is a beautiful nation and — and we have enjoyed the experience of the culture and the people and have received a very warm welcome. So it is good to be here.
Q Two questions on — both on your meeting with China’s President Xi. First, did you guys discuss North Korea? And did you get any signals that he was willing to get China and Russia on board with sanctions?
And second, did you all discuss Taiwan, as he talked about, trying to improve or make the relationship more stable?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: So, I did have a brief conversation with President Xi. And the focus was to reiterate the point that the President made during their three-and-a-half-hour meeting just recently, which is that we intend to keep open lines of communication available, because we do — do understand it is in the best interest of the globe and each nation, but also that we welcome competition but we do not seek conflict, we do not seek confrontation.
And so, in that brief discussion, it was important to reiterate where we stand as a nation, because we are very clear on where we stand in relation to China.
Q But did you discuss North Korea or Taiwan?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: We discussed that we are keeping open lines of communication, that we do not seek conflict or confrontation, but we welcome competition.
Q Have you talked with the Speaker or Representative Jeffries about their announcements? And what’s your reaction to it?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: We have, as you can imagine with the time difference — we’re about a 12-hour time difference — we — we’re playing a lot of phone tag. But I will tell you, Speaker Pelosi is someone that I think — currently and certainly history will prove and show — has been one of our greatest elected leaders.
She has been historic in so many ways, not only as a first but because of the work that she has done and — and the benefit that has resulted from her work to the people of America. And as a native Californian, I know of how she has always represented not only the people of our country — and, by extension, the world — but the people of her district. And I know that the people of San Francisco and California are thanking her always for the work that she has done.
As it relates to Congressman Jeffries, I think he is an outstanding leader and I wish him well.
END 1:08 P.M. ICT