Biden Visits China Amid Anxiety Over US Debt

Posted August 17th, 2011 at 8:05 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is on a four-day trip to China to assure its leaders that the United States is economically sound and that Chinese investments are safe.

China holds about $1 trillion of the U.S. debt, making it the United States' biggest foreign creditor. It has expressed concern that the deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and barely avoid default does not do enough to cut the budget deficit.

The Obama administration says China has its own economic problems. It has repeatedly demanded China let its currency rise against the dollar, complaining that Beijing keeps the yuan artificially low. U.S. officials also say Biden will raise Washington's human rights concerns with Chinese leaders.

Mr. Biden arrived in Beijing Wednesday night. He will meet with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping after an official welcoming ceremony in the Great Hall of the People. Xi is expected to succeed Hu Jintao as president in 2013.

Biden also plans to meet with President Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao, and join a roundtable discussion between Chinese and U.S. business leaders.

Biden is also scheduled to stop in Mongolia to show support for the country's democratic system and highlight growing economic ties. He also plans to visit Tokyo for talks with Japanese leaders and tour the earthquake-devastated city of Sendai before returning to the United States next week.