US economic woes loom over Biden's China trip

By JULIE PACE | August 15, 2011 | 12:44 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Concerns about the U.S. economy and the country's ability to manage its debt and deficits are looming over Vice President Joe Biden's trip to China this week.

But Obama administration officials are downplaying any suggestions that Biden will have to reassure the Chinese about America's creditworthiness. Aides say Biden will tell Chinese leaders that the U.S. has the capacity and commitment to tackle its fiscal challenges.

China, the world's second-largest economy, owns $1.2 trillion of U.S. Treasury debt. That's the largest holding by any country. China has called the debate over raising the U.S. debt ceiling a sign of political crisis in Washington and has said that overspending on foreign military adventures was to blame for much of America's current financial woes.

Biden is due to arrive in Beijing Wednesday.