U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting in Bangkok today. The two-day meeting
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting in Bangkok today.
The two-day meeting will be the second of its kind this year and the first time officials will meet in-person. It follows key meetings centered on post-pandemic economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, such as the17th East Asia summit and the G20 summit in Bali where U.S. President Joe Biden’s first face-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping took place.
Thailand’s economic interests particularly lie in reviving cross-border travel and its tourism industry. China’s zero-COVID policy has halted Chinese tourism in the region, but Thai officials aim to ease travel by introducing an inclusive APEC business travel card. Further, health officials aim to convene on vaccine interoperability certificates for member countries after the height of Covid-19.
Harris will represent the U.S. in advance of America’s APEC host status next year. President Biden was originally scheduled to miss the APEC meeting upon his return from the G20 summit to attend his granddaughter’s wedding. Instead, he called an emergency meeting of G7 and NATO members after a suspected Russian missile landed in Poland, killing two people. Thailand’s efforts at boosting travel and cross-border cooperation considering the geopolitical divide on the Russian invasion of Ukraine may still be undermined by Biden’s absence.