U.S. Vice President Biden to visit Beijing

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, August 6, 2011
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US Vice President Joe Biden will visit China later this month to strengthen ties with Beijing.

"He will visit China at the invitation of Vice President Xi Jinping - the first of the planned reciprocal visits between the vice presidents announced during President Hu Jintao's state visit to Washington earlier this year," said a statement issued by the White House on Thursday.

During his stay in Beijing, Biden will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart and meet with President Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao "to consult on a broad range of bilateral, regional, and global issues".

The US vice president will also visit Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.

Biden, who is set to leave for Beijing on Aug 16, will also go to Japan to reaffirm US support for its key Asian ally in the wake of the country's tsunami disaster and nuclear crisis, according to the statement.

Additional details about the vice president's trip have not been released.

Less than two weeks ago, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid an unofficial visit to South China's Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen and held talks with State Councilor Dai Bingguo.

Analysts say both sides want to make good use of high-level exchanges and meetings to maintain close communication and find ways to narrow differences.

Biden will likely arrive in Beijing on Aug 17. That day will mark the 29th anniversary of the August 17 communique, a joint statement made by the two governments in which the United States declared its intent to gradually decrease its arms sales to Taiwan.

US attitudes toward arms sales to Taiwan have become the focus of Biden's visit.

Rong Ying, a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, said he thought it was a coincidence, but arms sales is the issue concerning China's core interests.

A decision on the proposed sale will be announced by Oct 1.

Since Biden has just finished his role in forging the debt ceiling deal and taking into consideration that China is the largest holder of US Treasury bonds, Rong said Biden would probably express hope to gain China's continuous support for the economy of the United States and the world at large.

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