Joe Biden

Remarks by the Vice President in a Meeting with National People's Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo in Beijing, China

August 18, 2011

CHAIRMAN WU: Mr. Vice President, on behalf of the National People's Congress of China, a very warm welcome.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: It's a delight to be here.

CHAIRMAN WU: And what a delightful thing to see you again in Beijing. We had a very good conversation back in September 2009 when I visited the United States, and you were very kind to show me your office.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Mr. Chairman, this is much nicer than my office. (Laughter.)

CHAIRMAN WU: Well, I remember I said to you back then that your office was exquisite but not very big.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: That's right. You said that very diplomatically. (Laughter.)

CHAIRMAN WU: But you said with a great sense of humor that this office is the closest to the President's office.


CHAIRMAN WU: And that shows its importance. And your visit is a very important one. Foreign Minister Yang just told me that you had very good discussions with Vice President Xi.


CHAIRMAN WU: You had a deep discussion about issues of mutual interest, and tomorrow you will have meetings with the President and the Premier. I'm sure that your visit will give new impetus to our bilateral relationship. We will further promote the steady and sustainable growth of China-U.S. ties.

Now, it's been 10 years since your last visit to China.


CHAIRMAN WU: Well, many changes have taken place here. I'm happy to learn that besides Beijing, you're also going to Chengdu.


CHAIRMAN WU: And you will have more opportunities to engage with the young people, and also opportunities to see the post-earthquake reconstruction there.

While the city of Dujiangyan has a culture and civilization of over 2,000 years, I'm sure that trip will help you gain a deeper understanding about China. I sincerely wish you a very happy stay in China. And you will leave this country with a very fond memory. Once again, very warm welcome.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, it's a delight to be here, Mr. Chairman. As I told you when you were in my office, when I was a chairman, I had a much bigger office. (Laughter.) I used to have an important job when I was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. I had a big office, and a large staff, and then I became Vice President. (Laughter.)

There's an old joke told by a former Vice President. He said, I once had two brothers, one went to sea and the other became Vice President. I never heard from either again.

But unfortunately, your colleagues are hearing from me again and again and again and again. I beg their indulgence. We sat together all morning. The Ambassador has been very gracious, as has the Minister, so I hope they don't mind listening again.

As we discussed in my office, Mr. Chairman, you know I now and have since my first visit in 1979 with Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping, I'm of the view that this is a central, critical relationship -- China and the United States. I hope this doesn't sound chauvinistic to other countries, but our mutual success will benefit the whole world. As the two largest economies in the world, at the moment when the world economic circumstance is uneasy, I think we hold the key together to not only our own prosperity, but to generating growth and jobs worldwide. And that's the overwhelming reason I've come, to talk about jobs and growth; and the -- as was phrased this morning, the reordering of our economies -- yours and ours.

So I'm anxious to talk to you, and I appreciate your hospitality.

CHAIRMAN WU: Well, thank you for your warm remarks.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks by the Vice President in a Meeting with National People's Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo in Beijing, China Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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