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Don't worry: US VP heads to China after criticism over downgrade

China was less than kind about the US’s recent downgrading by Standard & Poor’s.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden
Image: Julie Jacobson/AP/Press Association Images

THE US VICE president Joe Biden is heading to China for talks that will focus on economic matters following the downgrading of his country’s credit rating last week which caused concern and anger in Beijing.

Being the US government’s biggest foreign creditor and holding a whopping $1 trillion of its debt, China has called on the Americans to do more to reduce their budget deficit, BBC News reports.

Biden is set to explain the finer points of the “very strong deficit reduction package” that was agreed by the US Congress earlier this month as well as talk about the “tremendous mutual interest” in global economic recovery, according to officials.

China’s state media was scathing over the recent credit rating downgrade by Standard & Poor’s saying the US had an “addiction to debt” and demanding that the country live within its means.

Biden was invited by Xi Jinping, his counterpart, who is expected to takeover the chairmanship of China’s Communist Party in 2012 and become president the following year. He in turn will visit the US later this year.

The US vice president will also be visiting Japan  and Mongolia as part of his five-day trip.

- additional reporting from AP

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Hugh O'Connell

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