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Biden goes to Asia

Vice President Joseph Biden is on his way to China, Mongolia, and Japan later this month, his office announced today. In Beijing, Biden will meet with Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to replace Hu Jintao as president next year. "He will visit China at the invitation of Vice President Xi Jinping – the ...

AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Joseph Biden is on his way to China, Mongolia, and Japan later this month, his office announced today.

In Beijing, Biden will meet with Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to replace Hu Jintao as president next year.

"He will visit China at the invitation of Vice President Xi Jinping - the first of the planned reciprocal visits between the Vice Presidents announced during President Hu Jintao's state visit to Washington earlier this year," the White House said in a release.

Vice President Joseph Biden is on his way to China, Mongolia, and Japan later this month, his office announced today.

In Beijing, Biden will meet with Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to replace Hu Jintao as president next year.

"He will visit China at the invitation of Vice President Xi Jinping – the first of the planned reciprocal visits between the Vice Presidents announced during President Hu Jintao’s state visit to Washington earlier this year," the White House said in a release.

Biden will do the diplomatic trifecta, meeting with Hu in Beijing, as well as Chinese premier Wen Jiabao. After Beijing, Biden will go to the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu, then to the Mongolian capitol of Ulaanbaatar, and then Tokyo. The Office of the Vice President did not release the dates or specifics of meetings for the Mongolia or Japan legs of Biden’s trip.

The China visit comes only three months before President Barack Obama travels to Asia in November. Obama will lead a huge U.S. delegation as the host of the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which is being held in the city of his birth, Honolulu. He will then go to Bali to lead America’s first-ever delegation as an official member of the East Asia Summit (EAS). EAS is a regional security focused organization that the administration joined as part of an increased commitment to strengthen U.S. relations with Asia.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just got back from Bali, where she was attending the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the largest grouping of Southeast Asian nations and their friends. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates was in Singapore in June for the IISS Shangri-La Security Dialogue, which was also attended by your humble Cable guy.

In between Honolulu and Bali, Obama has a few days of down time, not enough to go back to Washington but certainly enough to visit one more country in the region. But where will he go? The Australian ambassador told a group of journalists at his annual summer BBQ this week that Australia is lobbying hard for an Obama visit. The White House has yet to make any commitments to Australia, or any other country.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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