Chinese students pressed US Vice President Joe Biden yesterday about the safety of Chinese assets in the US, with Biden promising the investments were safe.
Biden brought a strong message of mutual interdependence on his visit to the city of Chengdu on the final day of a five-day visit to the world’s second-largest economy and key US trading partner.
As he did earlier in his visit, Biden endeavored to ease China’s concerns about its US$1.2 trillion in US Treasury holdings despite the massive US deficit and downgrading of the US credit rating.
“You’re safe,” Biden told students in a question-and-answer session following a speech at Sichuan University.
Biden said the interest rate on US Treasurys fell following the downgrade, making them more sought-after than ever.
“If the world thought, my God, they’ve been downgraded and they’re not going to make good on their debt, it would not have been viewed as the safest haven in all the world to invest,” he said.
Biden and Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平) visited a high school in Sichuan that was rebuilt after the devastating 2008 earthquake and talked to students there.
A Xinhua news agency commentary on Biden’s visit yesterday said that China would be looking for action, rather than words, from Washington to restore confidence in the US economy by gradually reducing the deficit, cutting debt and promoting economic growth.
“What is especially important is to let the world see that the US government and relevant departments have the determination, ability and political aspiration to take actions to resolve these complicated issues,” it said.
Biden emphasized the frequent exchanges between US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) along with government officials in the political and economic field. He said there needed to be more exchanges between their civilian and military leaders about security issues, especially on cybersecurity and maritime issues where the sides view matters from different perspectives.
“Our generals should be talking to each other as frequently as our diplomats,” Biden said.
Military-to-military exchanges have a troubled history, with China suspending them to register its anger at US actions toward Taiwan or on the political front. Though revived last year, they could face a new threat when the US announces on Oct. 1 whether it will provide new F-16s to Taiwan.
Biden said the US and China both need global stability, including preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. He also reasserted that the US will remain a Pacific nation in the future, saying that the US presence had benefited regional stability and allowed China to focus on economic development.
Biden said he recognized frustrations among many Chinese businessmen and officials at the time needed to obtain visas to visit the US and said Washington was working on improvements.
However, he said US companies continue to face major investment barriers in China, a frequent complaint among the business community in China.
He said US businesses were locked out of entire fields and face “restrictions that no other major economy imposes on us or so broadly.”
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
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RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s