The Associated Press

China's US assets 'safe,' Biden tells students China's US assets 'safe,' Biden tells students CHRISTOPHER BODEEN The Associated Press CHENGDU, China CHENGDU, China (AP) — Chinese students pressed Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday about the safety of China's assets in the United States, with him promising the investments were safe. Biden brought a strong message of mutual interdependence on his visit to the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu on the final day of a five-day visit to the world's second-largest economy and key U.S. trading partner. And, as he did earlier in his visit, Biden endeavored to ease China's concerns over its $1.2 trillion in U.S. Treasury holdings despite the massive U.S. deficit and downgrading of America's credit rating. "You're safe," Biden told students in a question-and-answer session following a speech at Sichuan University. Biden noted that the interest rate on Treasurys fell following the downgrade, making them more sought-after than ever. "If the world thought, my God, they've been downgraded and they're not going to make good on their debt, it would not have been viewed as the safest haven in all the world to invest," he said. Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, expected to become the country's next leader, later visited a high school that was rebuilt after the devastating 2008 earthquake and talked to students there. An official Xinhua News Agency commentary on Biden's visit said Sunday that China would be looking for actions, rather than words, from the U.S. government to restore confidence in the American economy by gradually reducing the deficit, cutting debt and promoting economic growth. "What is especially important is to let the world see that the U.S. government and relevant departments have the determination, ability and political aspiration to take actions to resolve these complicated issues," the commentary said. Biden emphasized the frequent exchanges between President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao along with government officials in the political and economic field. He said there needed to be more exchanges between their civilian and military leaders over security issues, especially on cybersecurity and maritime issues where the sides view matters from different perspectives. "Our generals should be talking to each other as frequently as our diplomats," Biden said. Military-to-military exchanges have a troubled history, with China suspending them to register its anger at U.S. actions on the political front or toward Taiwan, the U.S. ally Beijing claims as its own territory. Though revived last year, they face a new threat when the U.S. announces on Oct. 1 whether it will provide new F-16 warplanes to the island. Biden said the U.S. and China both need global stability, including preventing Iran and North Korea from obtaining nuclear weapons. He also reasserted that the U.S. will remain a Pacific nation in the future, saying that the American presence had benefited regional stability and allowed China to focus on economic development. Biden said he recognized frustrations among many Chinese businessmen and officials at the time needed to obtain visas to visit the U.S. and said Washington was working on improvements. But he said U.S. companies continue to face major investment barriers in China, a frequent complaint among the business community here. He said U.S. businesses were locked out of entire fields and face "restrictions that no other major economy imposes on us or so broadly." The U.S. relishes competition from China and hopes for continued Chinese prosperity, with the $110 billion in U.S. exports to China last year generating hundreds of thousands of jobs, Biden said.