US Vice President Arrives in Chengdu

Posted August 20th, 2011 at 10:31 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is visiting the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu following two days of high level meetings in Beijing.

Biden arrived in the manufacturing hub in Sichuan province Saturday, accompanied by his grand-daughter and the new U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke.

The U.S. vice president is scheduled to give a speech to students at Sichuan University and tour areas devastated by the 2008 earthquake that killed an estimated 87,000 people.

Biden's trip is one in a series of meetings planned during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington earlier this year.

On Friday, China and the United States renewed their commitment to bilateral cooperation, with Beijing expressing confidence the battered U.S. economy will rebound.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping told a meeting with Biden and businessmen 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 assured his counterpart the United States is economically sound and that Chinese investments are safe.