Office of the Vice President
August 22, 2011
REMARKS BY VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN
ON U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS
FOLLOWED BY Q & A WITH STUDENTS
What we ended up doing is setting up a system whereby we did cut by $1.2 trillion upfront, the deficit over the next 10 years. And we set up a group of senators that have to come up with another $1.2 to $1.7 trillion in savings or automatically there will be cuts that go into effect in January to get those savings. So the savings will be accomplished. But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.
So hopefully we can act in a way on a problem that’s much less severe than yours, and maybe we can learn together from how we can do that.
But in the meantime, the concern that we will not make good on the investments that people have made — in your case up to $1.7 trillion total out of a very large economy is not to worry about. We could not afford — we could not afford not to make good on that requirement.