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Geithner Seeks To Ease Tension With China

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiaboa next week as part of high-level discussions on ways to promote balanced and sustained growth in both nations.

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that Geithner's two days of meetings in Beijing next Monday and Tuesday will focus on efforts to strengthen economic ties between the two nations and deal with the current global economic recession.

Relations between the United States and China have been strained over the past decade by America's soaring trade deficit with China, an imbalance that American manufacturers blame on unfair Chinese trade practices including currency manipulation to give Chinese companies advantages over foreign competition.

In addition to discussions with top Chinese officials, Geithner will deliver a speech on U.S.-China economic relations at Peking University.

Treasury said Geithner will also participate in an event to highlight the role that U.S. companies are playing in China's economic development efforts and underscore the global leadership roles that the United States and China should play in combating climate change.

Geithner's visit next week will be his first trip to China since becoming Treasury secretary.

The administration earlier this year said it will continue to hold high-level talks with China started by the Bush administration, although the frequency of the meetings was halved to once a year. The first of those talks is scheduled for this summer in Washington.