Latest Breaking News / United State (U.S.) Vice President Joe Biden comes face to face with China’s economic boom Saturday after Chinese leader’s spoken coolness in a flagging U.S. economy reliant on credit from the Asian giant.
But human rights activists said a heavy-handed crackdown had been imposed on dissent to co-incide with his trip to China.
In a Friday meeting with Biden, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expressed confidence in the US economy after the historic demote of the United States’ top-notch credit rating earlier this month.
China is the largest foreign holder of US debt, and Biden has used his first official visit to the Asian nation since becoming vice president to reassure the country’s leaders their investment remains safe.
“In spite of the difficulties facing the US economy at present, I have full confidence that the United States will overcome these difficulties and get its economy back on the track of healthy growth,” Wen told Biden.
China and the United States have signed deals worth nearly dollar 1 billion during Biden’s trip, according to a US official who requested anonymity.
Biden did raise human rights concerns during his meetings with Chinese leaders, US officials said, but they refused to go into details of whether any individual cases were brought up.
“Yesterday (Friday), state security police began following me,” Li Yu, a democracy activist and outspoken blogger in Sichuan province, told AFP.
“I don’t know why they are following me, but I can’t help to think that it is because the US vice president is visiting.” Li said other political activists in Sichuan were facing similar police surveillance.
Meanwhile prominent human rights lawyers Teng Biao and Liu Xiaoyuan rejected to comment to AFP on Biden’s visit, saying they had been told by the authorities not to accept interviews with foreign media.
Following Biden’s stop-over in Sichuan, he will visit Mongolia and close US ally Japan.