Vice President Joe Biden is expected to tackle a variety of issues during his visit to China this week, but not surprisingly, concerns over the U.S.'s ability to manage its debt and deficits will be at the forefront of his meetings.
As the Associated Press is reporting, Biden will re-assure Chinese leaders that the U.S. is committed to tackling its fiscal challenges, emphasizing aspects of the recent debt ceiling deal that the Obama administration believes are good steps toward long-term deficit reduction.
Of course, it won't all be fiscal talk: Biden, an outspoken critic of China's recent crackdown on political dissidents, is also expected to emphasize human rights during his visit. And as The Wall Street Journal is reporting, U.S. officials are hoping Biden's meetings with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping will offer some rare insight into the personality and politics of the man who is presumed to be the country's future leader.
Take a look at some key issues expected on Biden's agenda below:
As the Associated Press is reporting, concerns about the U.S. economy and the nation's ability to manage its debt will no doubt be at the forefront of Biden's visit to China, which is America's biggest foreign creditor. Still, Biden is expected to emphasize aspects of the recent deal to increase the U.S. debt ceiling in his meetings with Chinese leaders.
Biden's criticisms of China's recent crackdown on political dissidents and human rights advocates -- among them well-known artist Ai Weiwei, who has since been released -- are well known. But as Reuters is reporting, many of China's leaders say U.S. complaints about its human rights record are illegitimate meddling.
According to Reuters, U.S. officials are concerned about a rapid growth in China's military spending and a lack of transparency about strategy, though Chinese officials deny the notion that it is a threat. Chinese press reports say Biden should be pressed on a pending decision whether to sell advanced F-16 fighters to Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province, according to Voice of America.
As The Wall Street Journal is reporting, U.S. officials hope Biden's visit will allow for some rare insight into the personality and politics of Xi Jinping, China's current vice president and presumed future leader. Biden is expected to meet with the 58-year-old Xi at least five times.
Washington wants more help from Beijing -- North Korea's only major ally -- in persuading Pyongyang to abandon nuclear weapons, Reuters is reporting. China, meanwhile, fears that excessive pressure could destabilize North Korea. The nuclear weapon program will also reportedly be at the forefront of Biden's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.