US Vice President to Visit China, Mongolia and Japan

Posted August 4th, 2011 at 4:10 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is to visit China, Mongolia and Japan later this month.

The vice president's office made the announcement Thursday.

The statement says Biden will depart for the region August 16. In China, he will meet with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other top leaders. Biden is also scheduled to visit the southwestern city of Chengdu.

The statement says the trip is the first of several reciprocal visits announced during Mr. Hu's visit to the United States earlier this year.

China is Washington's biggest creditor and has signaled deep unhappiness about this week's deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and the way it was accomplished.

A Chinese credit rating agency Wednesday downgraded U.S. debt, saying the deal does nothing to address the underlying problem. Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of China's central bank, called for Washington to take concrete and responsible steps to rebuild confidence in U.S. Treasury bonds. He also said China will continue to seek to diversify its investments.

But U.S. lawmakers and officials have similarly criticized China's currency and economic policies, which many believe are taking away American manufacturing jobs.

When Biden visits Ulaanbataar, Mongolia, he is expected to highlight the growing economic ties between the U.S. and that country, and in Japan, reaffirm U.S. support following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March.