News / Asia

    China, US to Discuss Iran, Trade Imbalance

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is on a two-day visit to China, where he is expected to discuss U.S. sanctions against Iran and the huge imbalance in China-U.S. trade. 

    Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan is hosting Geithner for a dinner in Beijing Tuesday, followed by a day of meetings with Chinese officials on Wednesday.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin says the two sides will exchange views on economic relations as well as the global financial landscape.

    He says the two countries agree on establishing a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.  He adds that Sino-American cooperation is needed to tackle what he describes as “grave” global economic challenges.

    Geithner's visit comes as China released trade figures Tuesday that show its overall trade surplus shrank more than 14 percent - from $183 billion in 2010 to $155 billion in 2011.

    China has been accused of purposely keeping the value of its currency low to help its exports. But Hong Kong University visiting public administration professor Alejandro Reyes says China's shrinking trade deficit may help weaken the arguments of critics in the United States who urge Beijing to revalue its currency.

    “The administration has resisted naming China as a currency manipulator and there are signs, although there is a lot of rhetoric about trade surplus, a little 'bit of the wind in the sails' of the argument against China has come down because the trade surplus itself has come down,” Reyes said.

    Another issue in Geithner's talks is America's efforts to persuade other countries to support sanctions targeting Iran's oil profits.  The United States and European Union believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons and they have been tightening sanctions in a bid to stop its suspect activities.  Tehran says its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes.

    China did not veto United Nations sanctions against Iran, but has expressed its opposition to the much tougher U.S. sanctions.  Beijing says domestic laws should not over-ride international laws, in the form of already existing U.N. sanctions against Iran.

    Reyes says China does not want to be seen as being pushed to do something by the United States, and would rather play some kind of behind-the-scenes role.

    “How much leverage they [China] have is a good question, but it is an important question," Reyes said. "But I can see where if the United States plays this card, the Iran card, plays it hard and the European Union is also there, that China could sort of stiffen its resolve and there could be kind of bad blood that emerges from that.”

    Although China is Iran's top oil customer, there are reports that it has already reduced its purchases of Iranian crude in the past month because of a dispute over prices.

    Meanwhile, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is leaving Beijing Saturday for a trip to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar - three key oil and gas suppliers.  The Chinese leader also is set to attend the Fifth World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi next week.

    You May Like

    Wife of IS Leader Charged in Death of US Hostage

    Suspect allegedly admitted to being responsible for American aid worker Kayla Mueller, who officials say was sexually abused and ‘owned’ by one IS member

    Year of the Monkey Could Prove Economic Balancing Act for China

    China is up against a tricky situation on the financial front, facing the need to fight capital flight while also stopping a further slide of foreign currency reserves

    Runners Attempt 26-mile South Pole Marathon in Sub-Zero Temperatures

    How alluring is running 26.2 miles at 10,000 feet when it’s minus 31 Celsius out?

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.