Treasury confirms Geithner's China trip

May 27, 2009 at 3:25 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department confirmed Wednesday that Secretary Timothy Geithner would travel to China next week to promote U.S. business interests.

Geithner's first trip to China will include meetings with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Premier Wang Quishan, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The meetings will likely touch on China's confidence in U.S. Treasury bills, which could be threatened with the increasing U.S. debt.

Before his confirmation as treasury secretary, Geithner commented in writing that "President Obama -- backed by the conclusions of a broad range of economists -- believes that China is manipulating its currency," a remark that did not sit well with Chinese officials.

The Treasury has not indicated whether currency rates would be discussed, however, the Times said.

Geithner, who is scheduled to speak at Peking University Monday, plans to discuss strategies for each country to reduce greenhouse gasses responsible for climate change, the Treasury said.

Monday is June 1, the date the Treasury set for a deadline on deciding the fate of General Motors Corp., which announced that creditors turned down an equity for debt swap Wednesday. The country's largest automaker is expected to file for bankruptcy on or before the deadline.

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