By Ian Katz and Cheyenne Hopkins – Bloomberg News
U.S. Treasury SecretaryÂ Timothy F. GeithnerÂ will urge Asia’s two biggest economies to cut Iranian oil imports and seek to narrow differences with China on trade and currency disputes on a visit to Beijing andÂ TokyoÂ this week.
Geithner arrives in Beijing today to meet with Chinese Vice PremierWang QishanÂ and will hold talks with Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice PresidentÂ Xi JinpingÂ and Vice PremierÂ Li KeqiangÂ tomorrow. InÂ Japan, he is due to meet with Prime MinisterÂ Yoshihiko NodaÂ and Finance MinisterÂ Jun AzumiÂ on Jan. 12.
Geithner is likely to encounter resistance in China, which disagrees with U.S. assertions that its currency is undervalued and is sparring with the Obama administration over trade in goods from chicken to steel. At the same time, he may seek to avert any public split at a time when a likely European slide into recession is already clouding the global economic outlook.
â€œThese are the worldâ€™s second- and third-largest economies and the two biggest holders of Treasury bills,â€ said Stephen Myrow, aÂ U.S. TreasuryÂ official during the administration of George W. Bush and now managing director of ACG Analytics Inc., a Washington investment research firm. â€œThese are relationships that need to be continually nurtured.â€
A plea to cut back on Iranian oil, tied to the Obama administrationâ€™s sanctions last month aimed at that countryâ€™s nuclear program, may not resonate with Chinese officials, intelligence and foreign-affairs analysts said.
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