The new U.S. Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, is seeking to assure officials in Beijing that their multi-trillion dollar investments in U.S. Treasuries are safe, despite the recent downgrade of long-term government debt by Standard & Poor’s; as well as Washington’s debt woes.
As the biggest holder of U.S. debt, China has bitterly criticized the Americans’ profligate ways as well as the recent debt-ceiling fiasco in Washington.
Having arrived in China, Locke, himself the son of Chinese immigrants, said he is seeking to improve relations between the U.S. and Beijing.
"The President [Obama] and Congress have joined on a path ensuring fiscal integrity of the United States of America," Locke said in his first public appearance in Beijing.
"Over the last several days more people are buying U.S. Treasuries and that's a clear indication that investment in the U.S. is safe and secure and that the economy, while having its challenges, is still strong.”
China had warned that Washington’s spiraling debt threatened to destabilize the global economy.
Washington officials are also concerned about the depressed value of the Yuan as well as by military exercises Beijing has been conducting in the South China Sea, among other issues.
Locke, 61, formerly served as the U.S. Commerce Secretary and replaced former Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, who resigned in the spring from the race to be the GOP's presidential nominee.
"Certainly there are many challenges facing both China and America," Locke added.
"But if our people, our business people, our scientists, our students can really join together, we can solve not just the challenges and problems facing each of our countries, we can actually solve many of the problems facing the entire world."