A timely visit for China and United States

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping will start a visit to the United States from February 13th, a very timely visit to allow direct contact between the first and second economies in the world through a complex international arena.

His agenda includes discussions on bilateral, regional and global issues with vice president Joe Biden, who visited China last August, and with President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

The new contacts are agreed by President Hu Jintao and his counterpart Obama in January 2011, when Chinese President visited the United States. The two heads of state agreed to promote a cooperative partnership between the two nations based on respect and mutual benefit.

After Washington Xi will move to Iowa and California. In these states he will attend a symposium, visit a farm and a Chinese company, also deliver a speech to the business community in Los Angeles, among other activities of a program which ends on Friday, before traveling to Ireland and then to Turkey. The visit will take place amid a very difficult international economic and political landscape, which includes the unresolved debt crisis in Europe, and the deteriorating situation in the Middle East.

Deputy Foreign Minister Cui recently referred to this trip as an important opportunity to increase trust between both countries, whose trade in goods and services approached 447 billion dollars in 2011, raising up 16 percent yoy.

He said the visit is also expected to contribute to eliminating barriers to bilateral trade, including restrictions on sales of some high-tech products to China and investments in the country.

These relationships tend to show stress associated with arms sales to Taiwan, strongly protested by the Asian giant, and pressure from Washington for further currency appreciation as a way to reduce its trade deficit with China.

These issues are expected to appear in the path of Xi, especially when his visit coincides with the U.S. election campaign and the references to China are frequent.

It is recalled that in his annual State of the Union Address, Obama announced the creation of a Rules Enforcement unit for filing trade cases against nations like China.

There are other issues, including human rights, in which both parties have differences.

One of the issues is sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program while Tehran defends it as peaceful.

Beijing opposes this policy and instead supports dialogue and negotiations to resolve the dispute.

There is also the Syrian crisis, on which China and Russia vetoed a draft resolution in the Security Council a few days ago, and the six-party talks for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Not to mention the Pentagon’s growing presence in the Asia-Pacific, bringing much concern to Beijing.

If the talks and expected agreements are objective and constructive, the visit will be more than timely and useful for the present and future.