August 18, 2011

BEIJING (AFP) – US Vice President Joe Biden, starting a visit to China under a cloud of criticism over the US debt crisis, told his hosts Thursday that the two nations held the key to global economic stability.

Biden, 68, needs to mend America’s worsening image in China after the world’s largest economy came close to a disastrous default on its debts earlier this month and suffered a historic credit rating downgrade.

China is the biggest foreign holder of US debt and the country’s state-run media have delivered a barrage of criticism of Washington’s handling of the debt crisis, which they have described as a “ticking time bomb”.

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“I am absolutely confident that the economic stability of the world rests in no small part on cooperation between the United States and China,” Biden told his counterpart Xi Jinping, who is set to succeed President Hu Jintao in 2013.

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