Entries in Mongolia (3)


Biden Greeted in Mongolia, Gifted with Horse

GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images(ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia) -- Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Monday where his hosts celebrated the first visit by a U.S. vice president since 1944 with performances of traditional music and dance, a Mongol-style wrestling competition and a gift: a Mongolian horse.

"The horse is the most important animal in Mongolia,” an aide traveling with Biden told reporters.  “It is the lifeblood of the country (nomadic history), so giving a horse is one of the most meaningful gifts that can be given."

During the presentation ceremony, U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Addleton placed a blue ribbon around the horse’s neck, and Biden tied two knots in it -- a symbolic display meant to signal importance.  Biden said that he named the horse “Celtic.”

But the horse apparently did not respond in kind.

Press pool accounts of the moment said the horse “got a bit excited” by Biden’s gesture and had to be taken away.  Aides said it would not be returning to the U.S. on Air Force 2.

When asked later to explain what happened, Biden said the animal "reared up" on him and concluded that it must not have liked "the Irish epitaph."

After the ceremony, Biden posed for photos with two Mongolian camels and tried his hand at archery.  He later departed for Tokyo, Japan -- the last stop on his week-long swing through East Asia. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


VP Biden Embarks on Mission to China, Mongolia and Japan

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden embarks Tuesday on a week-long trip to East Asia, where he’ll spend more than half his time developing a rapport with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jingping.  

The visit, billed by officials as a chance to “get to know China’s future leadership,” signals a new stage in the Obama administration’s effort to expand U.S. influence in the region and build on progress made during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit in January.

“Simply put, we’re investing in the future of the U.S.-China relationship,” said Biden national security advisor Antony Blinken on a conference call with reporters Monday.   

Biden’s four days of meetings and photo-ops in the Chinese capitol Beijing, and a first-ever visit by a U.S. official to Chengdu, will likely be overshadowed by the U.S.-China financial relationship.

China, the largest foreign holder of American debt, recently lashed out at the U.S. “addiction to debts” following S&P’s downgrade of the nation’s credit score, and exhorted American leaders to “address [the country’s] structural debt problems.”

“The Vice President will be in a good position to talk about the very strong deficit reduction package that we concluded here recently,” said Treasury Department Undersecretary Lael Brainard of the bipartisan agreement to curb spending by $900 billion over the next decade, with an additional $1.5 trillion in cuts expected later this year.

“Obviously, the U.S. has the capacity, the will, and the commitment to tackle our major fiscal and economic challenges,” she added.   

Officials say Biden will also push the Chinese to address “challenges” of their own, including the need for greater protection of intellectual property rights and ending Chinese currency manipulation -- both which have reportedly hampered American firms.    

Administration officials said they expected the vice presidents to discuss regional security issues, including North Korea and Iran’s nuclear weapons programs, the status of Taiwan and Tibet, and human rights.

Biden will spend one day in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, which the administration has praised for taking an “activist approach to strengthening democratic principles” in the region. Mongolia has also contributed troops to the international coalitions fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The vice president will spend the last two days of his trip visiting the close U.S. ally of Japan, where he is expected to meet with Prime Minister Kan and tour the northeastern city of Sendai, which was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Vice President Biden to Travel to China, Mongolia, and Japan

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The White House has released a statement saying Vice President Joe Biden will depart for China, Mongolia, and Japan on August 16, 2011.  

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.  

While in China, Vice President Biden will meet with Vice President Xi and other Chinese leaders, including President Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao, to discuss a broad range of issues.  

Vice President Biden will also visit the city of Chengdu, in China’s Southwest.

In Ulaanbaatar, the vice president will underscore U.S. support for Mongolia’s two decades of democratic development and our growing economic ties.  

In Japan, Vice President Biden will express U.S. support for its close ally in the wake of the recent earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear emergency.  

The vice president will thank U.S. civilian and military personnel for their assistance in responding to the disaster, as well as highlight Japan’s resilience during the recovery and rebuilding process.

Additional details about the vice president’s trip will be released at a later date.

Copyright 2011 ABC News radio

ABC News Radio