WASHINGTON-- The White House may have failed to get much of what it wanted out of this month's debt ceiling deal, but you wouldn't know that based on the deficit reduction sales pitch Vice President Joseph Biden plans to give during an upcoming trip to China.
According to Lael Brainard, Treasury Department Under Secretary for International Affairs, Biden will seek to portray the debt deal as a "major step" towards fiscal stability when meeting with Chinese officials as part of a seven-day trip to Asia in late August.
"The vice president will be in a good position to talk about the very strong deficit reduction package that we concluded here recently," Brainard said during a Friday conference call with reporters. "Obviously the United States has the capacity, the will, and the commitment to tackle our major fiscal and economic challenges."
Biden's trip comes on the heels of strong criticism from Chinese news outlets and officials during the debt ceiling debate, much of which focused on the American political system's ability to effectively control spending.
"I think there is a risk that the U.S. debt default may happen," People's Bank of China adviser Li Daokui told Reuters in June. "The result will be very serious and I really hope that they would stop playing with fire."
China's state-run media outlet Xinhua similarly criticized the U.S. debt ceiling debate as "dangerously irresponsible" and having "kidnapped" the world economy.
Biden will undoubtedly attempt to build on the theme of confidence in U.S. democracy and fiscal policy that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pushed during a July trip to China.
"These kinds of debates have been a constant in our political life throughout the history of our republic," Clinton said in a speech in Hong Kong. "Sometimes they are messy ... but this is how an open and democratic society ultimately comes together to reach the right solution."
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