“We appreciate and welcome your concluding that the United States is such a safe haven, and we appreciate your investment in U.S. Treasurys,” Biden said on the second day of his four-day visit here. “And very sincerely, I want to make clear that you have nothing to worry about.”
Wen thanked Biden for his assurances, which he said would go down well with the Chinese public. Many Chinese academics, economists and citizens voicing their views on the Internet have complained that the government holds too much U.S. debt, making China too dependent on the economic health of the United States and the strength of the dollar.
“You've sent a very clear message to the Chinese public, that the United States will keep its word and its obligations with regard to its government debt,” Wen said, according to an English transcript of his remarks in Chinese. “It will preserve the safety, liquidity and value of U.S. Treasurys. I'm sure that will give a boost to the investors’ confidence in the U.S. economy.”
Wen also said he was “fully confident” that the U.S. economy will rebound. “The prosperity and stability of the United States are important for the whole world,” he said, according to the state-run Xinhua News Service.
Wen’s remarks came after Biden received a similar expression of confidence from Vice President Xi Jinping, China’s likely next leader.
Speaking at the start of a roundtable discussion Friday morning with U.S. and Chinese business leaders, Xi warned of “drastic fluctuations” in financial markets and “destabilizing factors” affecting the world economy. But Xi said that in China’s view, the U.S. economy is “highly resilient, and has a strong capacity for self-repairment.”
Biden, in the morning meeting with Xi, echoed that view. “I have absolute, unequivocal confidence in the strength and vitality and the growth of the American economy,” he said. “No one’s ever made money betting against America.”
Biden met later Friday with President Hu Jintao, who called the vice president an old friend of China’s and said his visit will help enhance cooperation between the two countries, Xinhua reported.
The news agency quoted Biden as saying that President Obama “asked me to come to Beijing to meet you and reaffirm our absolute commitment to developing a strong, enduring and positive relationship with China and to reaffirm our engagement with the world in a much bigger way.”
Biden travels on Saturday to the western province of Sichuan, which was badly damaged by a 2008 earthquake and which lately has been attracting more U.S. companies interested in investing in China’s hinterland.