Biden heading to China, Japan, Mongolia

China is the largest holder of US Treasury bonds and has expressed concerns over its investments.

Washington: US Vice President Joe Biden will visit China later this month in the wake of Beijing`s pointed criticism of Washington`s failure to solve its debt crisis after a prolonged political stalemate.

Biden, who leaves on August 16, will also visit Mongolia to push support for Democratic development and will go to Japan to reaffirm US support for its key Asian ally in the wake of its tsunami disaster and nuclear crisis.

In Beijing, the White House said Biden would meet Chinese President Hu Jintao, Vice President Xi Jinping, who is officially hosting the visit and Premier Wen Jiabao, to discuss key US-China and wider diplomatic issues.

He will also visit the southwestern city of Chengdu on a trip first mooted during Hu`s state visit to Washington in January.

The announcement of Biden`s trip came a day after China`s official Xinhua news agency carried a stinging assessment of US economic management following a prolonged showdown between the White House and Republicans over deficit cuts.

"The months-long tug of war between Democrats and Republicans... failed to defuse Washington`s debt bomb for good, only delaying an immediate detonation by making the fuse an inch longer," the commentary said.

It described the negotiations between the Republicans and Democrats as a "madcap farce of brinkmanship”, and lectured US politicians to take more responsible measures to fix their country`s economic problems.

China`s central bank delivered a more measured statement and welcomed the deal, which averted what would have been a historic US debt default and raised the government`s borrowing authority by up to USD 2.4 trillion.

But it nevertheless said it would continue to diversify its foreign currency investments.

China is the largest holder of US Treasury bonds and has previously expressed concerns over its investments.

The White House said that in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator, Biden would underscore support for "two decades of democratic development and our growing economic ties”.

"In Japan, the Vice President will express steadfast US support for its close ally in the wake of the recent earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear emergency.

He also "will thank US civilian and military personnel for their assistance in responding to the disaster, as well as highlight Japan`s resilience during the recovery and rebuilding process."

Bureau Report

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