Biden to China - What could go wrong?

Joe Biden does very well representing America in places like Mongolia where nobody cares if he commits one of his predictable gaffes in protocol or language. The press isn't there to see it so Biden's harmless forays into diplomacy don't generate any attention.

But China?

Vice President Joe Biden sought to reassure China Sunday that its vast financial assets in the United States are safe and that America will never default on its debts.

In a speech to university students in Chengdu, Biden said he is confident about the strength of the U.S. economy. He noted that Americans still hold the vast majority of the ballooning U.S. debt, leaving Washington with great domestic incentives to rein in spending and ensure repayment.

In response, China's official Xinhua news agency Sunday called Biden's reassurances "far from enough" to soothe concerns in China and other major markets. Xinhua's commentary called for concrete U.S. actions, and said Washington must "realize that confidence can not be established through mere rhetoric."

The U.S. vice president also praised China's growing economy and noted that the United States and China face many common global threats and share many of the same strategic objectives and responsibilities.

China needn't worry Americans are just as skeptical as they are about Obama's ability to manage the crisis.

Perhaps sending Biden wasn't such a bad idea after all. They must have figured things couldn't get any more screwed up with Beijing than they already are so it was safe to send the human gaffe machine to an important country.

But I don't think the Chinese got Biden's joke about facing common threats and sharing the same objectives. But then, western humor is alien to them and no one is laughing about Taiwan.