The White House Blog: The Vice President
- Posted byon August 26, 2011 at 6:46 AM EDT
This week we bring you Mailbag Day, Summer Edition 2011 where we respond to some of your emails and letters. Also this week, the President addresses the situation in Libya, monitors Hurricane Irene, and Vice President Biden travels to Asia to re-emphasize our strong economic and diplomatic ties to Asian nations. Plus, the White House experiences a little shake.
- Posted byon August 24, 2011 at 4:43 PM EDT
Arriving at Ulaanbaatar’s Chinggis Khaan Airport on Monday, Vice President Biden was formally welcomed to Mongolia – the second country on his trip through Asia – by Prime Minster Sukhabaatar Batbold and the sounds of a 32-person honor guard.
From there, it was off to the Government House, set on Ulaanbaatar’s central Sukhbaatar Square, for meetings with Prime Minister Batbold and President Tsakhia Elbegdorj.
Speaking after his meeting with Prime Minister Batbold, Vice President Biden praised Mongolia’s 22 years of democracy. “Mongolia is not just a shining example for other nations in transition,” said the Vice President, “it’s an emerging leader in the worldwide democratic movement, a responsible actor on the world stage, and a close friend and partner of the United States.”
Vice President also thanked Mongolians for their contributions to international peace and security. Over the past decade, Mongolia’s army, trained as peacekeepers, has been deployed to countries around the world, including Sierra Leone, Chad, Darfur, Kosovo and Western Sahara, as well as tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Before his meeting with President Elbegdorj, Vice President Biden paid a visit to the President’s ceremonial ger – a traditional tent still used by nomadic Mongolians – set up on the fifth floor of the Government House.
After a morning of official business came the ultimate Mongolian cultural experience – a mini-Naadam festival in a field just outside of Ulaanbaatar at the foot of rolling hills encircling the capitol city. Naadams – traditional Mongolian festivals held throughout the country during the summertime – showcase the “Three Games of Men”: Mongolian wrestling, horse racing and archery. The Naadam for Vice President Biden also included traditional music and dance performances, as well as the ceremonial presentation of a gift horse, which the Vice President named Celtic.
For more information about the Vice President's trip to Asia, check out our photo galleries from China and Mongolia and watch his first travelogue from the road. You can follow the Vice President's trip in real time on Twitter, #VPinAsia
- Posted byon August 23, 2011 at 9:17 AM EDT
Sichuan University, located in China's rapidly developing southwestern city of Chengdu, was the site of Vice President Biden's major speech on U.S.-China relations on the morning of his 4th day in China. Speaking on a range of issues facing the two largest economies in the world, the Vice President reiterated that a "rising China" is a "positive development, not only for the people of China but for the United States and the world as a whole."
He noted that with increased cooperation between the US and China comes increased competition. "We should reject the misplaced notion of the zero-sum game in which everything one nation achieves somehow comes at the expense of the other," said Vice President Biden (you can watch the full speech, above). Vice President Biden also expressed confidence in America's ability to compete in the 21st century. "The United States is hardwired for innovation," he said. "Openness, free exchange of ideas, free enterprise and liberty are among the reasons why the United States, in my view is at this moment the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. It's why our workers are the most productive, why our inventors and entrepreneurs hold more patents than any other country in the world, why we are reinvesting in the fundamental sources of our strength -- education, infrastructure, innovation -- and why President Obama and I are so confident that America will weather the current economic storm and emerge even stronger."
- Posted byon August 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM EDT
Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden spoke from Sichuan University in Chengdu, China on the important relationship between the United States and China. During his remarks, the Vice President reflected on the partnership that our two nations have been working to build:
A rising China will fuel economic growth and prosperity and it will bring to the fore a new partner with whom we can meet global challenges together. When President Obama and I took office in January of 2009, we made our relationship with China a top priority. We were determined to set it on a stable and sustainable course that would benefit the citizens of both our countries. Our Presidents have met nine times since then, including very successful state visits in Beijing and Washington, and have spoken numerous times by telephone.
Direct discussions between senior policymakers and the personal ties that result from such discussions in my view over the last 35 years of conducting foreign policy are the keys to building cooperation. They're built on understanding. They allow us to better understand each other and allow us to define our interests in ways that are clear so that each one of us know what the other country’s interests are, and to see the world through the eyes of the other with the intention of preventing miscommunications and misconceptions that tend to fuel mistrust.
With that goal in mind, we have worked very hard to develop our cooperative partnership through more than 60 separate dialogues on issues of matter to both China and to the United States; and I would suggest to the world as a whole.
- Posted byon August 21, 2011 at 8:38 AM EDT
The second day in Beijing began in a familiar setting for Vice President Biden. The site of today's U.S.-China Business Dialogue, the Beijing Hotel, was also the site of meetings held during his first trip to China in 1979, when some of the earliest discussions about the possibility of American companies doing business in China took place. Over 30 years later, Vice President Biden and Vice President Xi brought together 19 CEOs and business leaders from the United States and China to bring the conversation into the 21st century. "President Obama and I, we welcome, encourage and see nothing but positive benefits flowing from direct investment in the United States from Chinese businesses and Chinese entities. It means jobs. It means American jobs," said Vice President Biden.
Participants at the roundtable ranged from the CEO of Coca Cola to the Group President of Caterpillar, from the Captain of Cosco to the Board Chairman of Lenovo.
In his opening remarks at the Dialogue, Vice President Xi expressed strong confidence in the U.S. economy, calling it "highly resilient" with "a strong capacity for self-repairment." "We believe that the U.S. economy will achieve even better development as it rises to the challenge," he continued.
Next up for Vice President Biden was a meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at Ziguangge, Zhongnanhai, or, the Leadership Compound, which serves as the primary residence for leaders of the Politburo.
Seated side by side in the compound's Purple Light Pavillion, Wen praised the Vice President for engaging widely with the sectors in China, both public and private. "You have been sending a very strong message that the further growth of U.S.-China ties is not only important for our two countries, but also for the whole world."
Vice President Biden later took Premier Wen up on an impromptu invitation to tour the lakeside grounds of the compound. Tight schedule in mind, the Vice President joked that he would need a note to explain his tardiness to President Hu, the last meeting of his day back at the Great Hall of the People.
Next stop, Chengdu of Sichuan Province in China's Southwest.
For more information about the Vice President's trip to Asia, check out this photo gallery and watch his first travelogue from the road. You can follow the Vice President's trip in real time on Twitter, #VPinAsia
- Posted byon August 19, 2011 at 2:31 PM EDT
Vice President Joe Biden joined Chinese Vice President Xi and business leaders from both countries at a roundtable today in Beijing to discuss the business relationship between both countries. The Vice President reflected on the changes that have taken place since his first trip to the country more than 30 years ago, when he was part of the first Senate delegation that met withDeng Xiaoping, and expressed his great optimism about what the next 30 years hold. He also addressed the “real and perceived barriers that exist in both countries that have to be dealt with” and praised the “straightforward” conversations he has had with Vice President Xi throughout this visit.
“You have legitimate concerns about access to America. And I would argue we have legitimate concerns in reverse. But the trajectory -- the trajectory of the relationship is nothing but positive, and it’s overwhelmingly in the mutual interest of both our countries. And it’s presumptuous to say this, but I think it’s in the interest of the world. It’s in the interest of the world that we increase -- increase -- the interaction between not only our business community, but our economies writ large.
Obviously, economic issues have been a particular focus of the growing cooperation between the United States and China. Our governments are committed to and working hard to promote economic growth. It’s strong. It’s sustainable, and it is balanced, fair and open. Bilateral trade and investment between the United States and China, as is pointed out, is growing rapidly in both directions. We’d like it to go even more rapidly in terms of investment in the United States because it creates jobs and it creates economic opportunities in both countries.
- Posted byon August 19, 2011 at 12:00 PM EDT
Vice President Joe Biden's stop at a local lunch spot near the Drum and Bell Tower neighborhood in Old Beijing on the first day of his official visit has all of China talking. Embassy Beijing’s post about the traditional lunch fare he ordered – pork buns, zhajiang noodles and cucumbers -- on one of the most popular Chinese microblogs, Sina, received over 6,400 retweets and 3,000 comments in less than an hour. Joining the Vice President at lunch were newly installed U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke and his wife Mona, plus Vice President’s daughter-in-law Kathleen and granddaughter Naomi, who are traveling with him through Asia.
For more information about the Vice President's trip to Asia, check out these photo galleries from day one and day two and watch his first travelogue from the road. You can follow the Vice President's trip in real time on Twitter, #VPinAsia.
- Posted byon August 19, 2011 at 10:56 AM EDT
In his first travelogue, sent from Beijing, Vice President Joe Biden talks about meetings with his counterpart, Vice President Xi of China, focused on how we can grow our economy and create jobs.
- Posted byon August 18, 2011 at 10:08 PM EDT
It was a busy and productive day in Beijing for Vice President Biden – one that began and ended at the Great Hall of the People. An elaborate welcome ceremony in the Northern Hall served as the official kickoff to Vice President Biden’s visit to China. Bilateral meetings with Vice President Xi and National People’s Congress Chair Wu Bangguo followed in the Eastern and Fujian Rooms. Finally, a banquet dinner in the Western Room capped the evening, complete with a cultural performance that included traditional Chinese song and dance.
Following the official ceremony, the Vice Presidents and their delegations gathered for their first formal meeting, where Vice President Biden reiterated the economic importance of a strong U.S.-China relationship. “I’m absolutely confident that the economic stability of the world rests in no small part on the cooperation between the United States and China. …It is the key, in my view, to global economic stability,” said Vice President Biden.
But it was the Vice President’s visit to a local lunch spot near the Drum and Bell Tower neighborhood in Old Beijing that had China talking. Embassy Beijing’s post about the traditional lunch fare he ordered – pork buns, zhajiang noodles and cucumbers -- on one of the most popular Chinese microblogs, Sina, received over 6400 retweets and 3000 comments in less than an hour. Joining the Vice President at lunch were newly installed U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke and his wife Mona, as well as the Vice President’s daughter-in-law Kathleen and granddaughter Naomi who are traveling with him through Asia.
- Posted byon August 17, 2011 at 1:48 PM EDT
Shortly after arriving in Beijing, Vice President Biden joined Georgetown men's basketball fans at the Olympic Sports Center to cheer on the Hoyas in an exhibition game against the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons -- a member of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).
The team's two-week visit to China reflects an ongoing push to expand people-to-people exchanges between our two countries, as well as an effort to strengthen the U.S.-China relationship through sport.