VP in Asia Day Two: Getting Down to Business
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