China, US Express Confidence, Willingness to Cooperate

Posted August 19th, 2011 at 12:05 pm (UTC-5)
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China and the United States have renewed their commitment to bilateral cooperation, with Beijing expressing confidence the battered U.S. economy will rebound.

The latest assurances came Friday, the second day of formal talks in Beijing between U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and top Chinese leaders.

Biden told Chinese President Hu Jintao he was sent to China to reaffirm Washington's “absolute, total commitment” to strong and enduring ties with Beijing.

Earlier Friday, during a meeting with Biden and businessmen, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping sought to ease anxiety about the U.S. economic situation, saying the American economy is highly resilient and has a strong capacity for self-repair.

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.

U.S. officials say Biden is also using his trip to get to know the next generation of Chinese leaders, especially Xi — who is expected to succeed Hu Jintao as president. Biden and Xi will travel together Saturday to the southwestern province of Sichuan.

Biden assured his counterpart the United States is economically sound and that Chinese investments are safe.

The Obama administration also 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.

Each country has other issues it wants to raise, with the United States promising to bring up human rights issues and China expected to press Washington to reject a bid from Taiwan to purchase advanced F-16 fighters. Taiwan says it has been promised that Biden will not seek Chinese approval of the sale.