Joe Biden to visit China, Japan, Mongolia

WASHINGTON Fri Aug 5, 2011 9:32am EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden will travel to China later this month to help strengthen U.S. ties with Beijing in a trip that will also include stops in Japan and Mongolia, the White House said Thursday.

"He will visit China at the invitation of Vice President Xi Jinping -- the first of the planned reciprocal visits between the vice presidents announced during President Hu Jintao's state visit to Washington earlier this year," Biden's office said in a statement.

Biden will meet with Xi, Hu, and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during the trip and discuss "a broad range of bilateral, regional, and global issues," it said. The trip comes shortly after Washington agreed a deal to raise its debt ceiling and reduce spending, a debate that drew concern from Beijing, which is the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt.

In Mongolia, Biden will highlight U.S. support for the country's "democratic development" and in Japan he will express Washington's support for the country as it continues to recover from a devastating earthquake and tsunami that sparked a nuclear crisis.

Biden will leave for the roughly 10-day trip on August 16.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Paul Simao)

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