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U.S. VP welcomes China's prosperity as opportunity for more cooperation
2011-08-23 00:06

Visiting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday called China's rise a "positive development" that will bring more opportunities for bilateral cooperation.


"I believed in 1979, and I believe now that a rising China is a positive development," Biden told hundreds of students in Sichuan University in Chengdu, capital city of southwest Sichuan Province.

Biden said a rising China will "fuel economic growth and prosperity," and will mean "more demands for American-made goods and services and more jobs back home in the United States."

It will also bring a new partner "with whom we can meet global challenges together," he added.

"It's in our self interest that China continues to prosper," he said.

As a member of the first delegation of U.S. congressional leaders who visited China in 1979, Biden acknowledged that China was on a course of remarkable transformation and the U.S.-China relationship has also improved dramatically in the past 30 years.

"President Obama and I will continue the important work of making this partnership even more positive, cooperative and comprehensive in the coming years," he said.

He stressed the importance of cooperation in development of bilateral relations and called for more from China in many areas, ranging from international and regional issues to bilateral dialogue between military leaders.

"We're working very hard to develop our cooperative partnership through more than 60 separate dialogues on issues" that matter to both China and the United States, Biden said.

In the speech and the following question-and-answer session, the vice president rejected the claim that U.S. power is declining and he reassured the security of China's huge holding of U.S. financial assets and treasury bonds.

"You are safe," he said. "America today is by far the largest economy, with a GDP of almost 15 trillion dollars, about two and a half times as large as China's."

He said Americans own a far bigger percentage of U.S. financial assets and treasury bonds than China does.

"Please understand that no one cares more about this than we do," he said. "So our interest is not just to protect Chinese investment. We have an overarching interest in protecting our investment, and the United States has never defaulted and never will default."

Chengdu is the second and last leg of Biden's six-day official China visit.

Biden said he was pleased to make his first visit to western China, acknowledging the incredible role it played in China's history, and the role it will play in the hi-tech future.

In the city's hi-tech zone, there are more than 160 Fortune 500 companies operating, including U.S. businesses such as Intel, Dell and Oracle.

Biden also visited a high-school, which was reconstructed after the disastrous earthquakes in May 2008.

He will wrap up his visit on Monday and then head to Mongolia and Japan.

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