China Vice President Confident of US Economic Strength

Posted August 19th, 2011 at 2:15 am (UTC-5)
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China's Vice President Xi Jinping expressed confidence Friday in the battered U.S. economy as he and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met in Beijing with corporate executives from the two countries.

Xi told the businessmen that the U.S. economy is highly resilient and has a strong capacity of self-repair. He also warned that Beijing and Washington should not politicize or sensationalize trade issues.

The meeting was aimed at enhancing cooperation amid complaints by foreign companies about Chinese market barriers and by Beijing about U.S. export restrictions.

U.S. officials say one of the purposes of Biden's trip is to get to know the next generation of Chinese leaders, including Xi who is expected to succeed Hu Jintao as president. Biden and Xi will travel together Saturday to the southwestern province of Sichuan.

Biden is set to meet later Friday with President Hu.

The two vice presidents opened their formal talks in Beijing Thursday with an admonition that better relations between their countries can benefit the whole world. Biden is seeking to assure his counterpart 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.

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.