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VP Xi's trip to address 'trust deficit' with US

By Cheng Guangjin and Tan Yingzi (China Daily)

14:05, February 10, 2012

BEIJING / DES MOINES, Iowa - Vice-President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to the United States will provide a very important opportunity to enhance bilateral mutual trust, as a "trust deficit" exists that contrasts with booming bilateral ties, a top Chinese diplomat said on Thursday.

"The level of mutual trust between China and the US is lagging behind what is required for the further development of our bilateral relations," Deputy Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai told reporters at a briefing.

"Vice-President Xi's visit will present a very important opportunity to enhance mutual trust," he said.

Xi will visit the US from Feb 13 to 17, where he will meet US President Barack Obama, and hold talks with Vice-President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on bilateral relations, major international and regional issues of mutual interest.

Xi will also meet with leaders of both houses of the US congress and former leaders before going to the state of Iowa and Los Angeles.

The purpose of this visit is to further advance the cooperative partnership that is based on mutual respect and mutual benefits, said Cui.

Cui also expects the visit to help remove some hurdles from Sino-US trade, including restrictions on US exports of high-tech products to China and obstacles to Chinese investment in the US.

"High-level visits could promote economic and trade ties politically and may remove some barriers in this field, and this visit is expected to generate such a result," said Cui.

"But it doesn't mean procurement or sending gifts to the other side," Cui added.

As for the renminbi exchange rate, which has long been an issue of concern in the US, Cui said China will continue its currency reforms.

"We have been always advancing reform of the exchange rate mechanism, and in the future we will also resolutely and unwaveringly advance such reforms," said Cui.

"But if one believed that because of a high-level visit we would make a move on the exchange rate, that would truly amount to currency manipulation," Cui said, when asked whether Xi would have anything new to say on the yuan during his visit.

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