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A timely visit to ease concerns and boost ties

08-17-2011 16:21 BJT

BEIJING, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to arrive in China Wednesday for an official visit, providing an opportunity to lift more of the shadows over the two countries and give U.S.-China relations new vigor.

Fresh from the recent grueling U.S. debt ceiling talks and the unprecedented U.S. credit rating downgrade, Biden is expected to assure Chinese leaders of Washington's capacity, will, and commitment to tackle its fiscal and economic challenges.

Such a message will be reassuring indeed, both to China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. bonds, and to the broader international community, which is facing a still fragile world economic recovery in the wake of the global financial crisis and economic meltdown that originated in the United States in 2008.

Although there's lots of reassuring going on, real relief appears nowhere in sight. Obviously, what U.S. Undersecretary of Treasury Lael Brainard called a "very strong deficit reduction package" failed to resolve the runaway debt problem of the world's largest economy, leaving a ticking time bomb.

What Washington should do is to shoulder the global responsibility befitting an economic giant such as the United States, consider long-termn, not short-term solutions, and carry out responsible and effective measures to cure its debt addiction and thus strengthen the foundation for global economic development.

Undoubtedly, more than just one pair of hands is needed to hold up the edifice of the world economy. As the second largest economy, China has already rolled out responsible economic and monetary polices, implementing far-reaching economic restructuring and allowing its currency to duly appreciate. Other economies should follow China's example and also do their part to help revive the global economy.

Meanwhile, timely as it is, the vice presidential visit coincides with the 29th anniversary of the publication of a landmark China-U.S. communique in which Washington declared its intent to gradually decrease its sale of arms to the inalienable Chinese island province of Taiwan.

Whether on Biden's agenda or not, the Taiwan question is a thorny, but unavoidable issue in the China-U.S. relationship. With Washington expected to announce a decision on its arms sales to Taiwan by Oct. 1, the U.S. side should remember its pledge, respect China's core interests and refrain from jeopardizing overall sound bilateral ties.

Human rights, as the tradition of U.S. diplomacy goes, will probably be among the topics Biden will dwell upon with Chinese leaders. Over three decades after his first China trip as a member of the first U.S. Congressional delegation to visit the People's Republic, the senior U.S. leader bears first-hand witness to the remarkable progress China has achieved in the living conditions and other basic human rights of its people.

Yet Biden will surely discover while touring the southwestern province of Sichuan that China remains a developing country and faces a host of socioeconomic challenges.

But what is happening in the earthquake-ravaged province also suffices to demonstrate that Beijing is committed to guaranteeing and promoting human rights, not only in the relatively prosperous coastal cities, but also in the less developed central and western communities.

An overview of China-U.S. relations will reveal that although differences do remain between the two countris, their bilateral ties have generally been moving in the right direction, which is not only in their own interests, but also in the interest of the global good.

Biden's visit to China comes on the heels of a series of significant events in the two countries' relations. During Chinese President Hu Jintao's January visit to the United States, the two sides agreed to forge a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. Then, several months later, Beijing and Washington successfully held their third Strategic and Economic Dialogue and resumed their stalled military exchanges.

Now the two sides need to seize the valuable opportunity of the U.S. vice president's visit, build upon the accumulated momentum and steer their bilateral relations further forward for the benefit of all, both within and beyond their borders.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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