The US vice-president Joe Biden has launched a week long tour of east Asia with a visit to China.
The two financial heavyweights stressed the need for a close relationship if the global economy is to return to health.
Biden’s host, the Chinese vice-president Xi Jinpang, is expected to take over the top job in 18 months so the trip is being seen as a vital element in the process of building mutual trust and faith in the US currency.
Biden sat in on a basketball match played by teams from the two countries. But there is more than points at stake on this visit.
China holds trillions of dollars in US debt and Biden is trying to reassure the Chinese that their money is safe, especially as Washington came perilously close to defaulting in recent weeks, and Uncle Sam lost his coveted triple-A credit rating.
Chinese manufacturers are already fretting about their Christmas orders, worried that economic hardships among US consumers will cut demand for their goods.