US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will meet with President Hu Jintao to discuss expansion of ties and current economic turmoil during his trip to Beijing on June 1-2, officials said Wednesday.
The economic pointman of President Barack Obama will also meet Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Premier Wang Qishan during the visit, his first to China since taking office on January 26.
The meetings would involve “a range of issues of importance to both countries, including strengthening US-China economic ties to promote stable, balanced and sustained economic growth in the two nations and further global economic recovery,” a Treasury statement said.
Geithner will also deliver a speech on US-China economic relations at Peking University and participate in an event at the Beijing Capitol Museum highlighting the role of US companies in China?s economic development efforts, the statement said.
It would also feature cooperation on clean energy, “demonstrating the opportunity both the US and China have to be global leaders in reducing climate change,” it said.
Analysts believe Geithner will have to grapple with a plethora of issues during the trip, ranging from US suspicion China is manipulating its currency for trade gains to Beijing openly questioning the US dollar’s special status as the leading global currency.
China has also publicly expressed concerns over the safety of its huge US bond investment holdings worth nearly 800 billion dollars as the United States reels from prolonged recession.
Obama came into office promising to talk tough with China on a range of issues, including complaints from Congress that China’s manipulation of its yuan currency was fueling the US trade deficit with the Asian giant.
But against the backdrop of a bearish economic environment arising from financial turmoil triggered by a US home mortgage meltdown, Geithner appears likely to take a soft approach with China, which remains the top growth driver, analysts said.