Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will travel to Beijing and Tokyo next week for talks including the standoff with Iran, the Treasury Department said today.
While in both countries, Geithner will discuss the “state of the global economy, policies to strengthen global growth and other economic issues of mutual importance” with government officials, the Treasury said in a statement. The trip will take place from Jan. 10 to Jan. 12.
Treasury said Geithner would also discuss the possibility of increasing pressure on Iran, including through financial measures against the country’s central bank. The trip follows President Barack Obama signing on Dec. 31 a defense authorization bill that also tightens sanctions on Iran by denying access to the U.S. financial system to any foreign bank that conducts business with the Central Bank of Iran.
Geithner will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan on January 10. He will then meet with Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice President Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Li Keqiang on January 11 to discuss “measures to promote continued economic growth and level the playing field for U.S. workers and firms.”
On January 12, Geithner will be in Tokyo for meetings with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Finance Minister Jun Azumi and other senior government officials on U.S. and Japanese efforts to promote strong, sustainable and balanced global growth.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Iran’s best oil export customer is China, which took about 22 percent of Tehran’s oil exports during the first half of 2011. China is a member of the United Nations Security Council and is on friendly terms with the Islamic Republic.
--Editors: Kevin Costelloe, Gail DeGeorge
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