Ms Kamala Harris greeting Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Aug 22, 2021. (Photo: Lin Yaohui/Straits Times)

United States Vice-President Kamala Harris touched down in Singapore on Sunday (Aug 22) and kicked off an official visit to South-east Asia – her first outside the Americas since being sworn into office in January. 

Ms Harris arrived on Air Force Two at about 10.50am at Paya Lebar Air Base. She will be in Singapore until Tuesday afternoon, when she will head to Vietnam before departing the region on Thursday. 

She was received at the airbase by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Ms Harris was accompanied by more than 20 staff and security officers.

All of them were wearing face masks, in line with Covid-19 safe management measures.

Last Thursday, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said Ms Harris will be subject to regular Covid-19 testing and a controlled itinerary to keep her visit to Singapore safe.

Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan welcoming Ms Harris, who will be here until Aug 24, 2021. (Photo: Lin Yaohui/Straits Times)

Ms Harris, who left the US on Saturday, remained on board Air Force Two when it stopped in Anchorage, Alaska, to refuel and Japanese capital Tokyo, said the White House.

Ms Harris, 56, will begin a flurry of formal engagements on Monday with a call on President Halimah Yacob at the Istana, followed by a meeting and joint press conference with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

An orchid will be named in her honour in a ceremony at the Istana.

She will also visit Changi Naval Base and US littoral combat ship USS Tulsa, which is in port for a multilateral exercise.

On Tuesday, Ms Harris will deliver a policy speech and participate in a round-table discussion with the business community, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement last Friday. Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong will take part in this discussion.

Her trip comes on the heels of US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin’s late July trip to Singapore and the region.

This article originally appeared in The Straits Times