Commentators predict premier will lobby White House for Taiwan support Taiwan and trade would be the two issues that dominate the talks between US President George W. Bush and Premier Wen Jiabao on the latter's first official visit to America, US media predicted. The Washington Post, The New York Times, Associated Press and CNN all reported that Mr Wen was arriving in the US with the tough job of lobbying the White House to side with China on the Taiwan issue. They noted that Mr Wen was the first member of the new Chinese leadership, which took power last year, to visit Washington. But he has a hard task on his hands. The improving Sino-US relationship was recently troubled by the political developments in Taiwan and escalating trade disputes between the two countries. CNN and Associated Press both reported that Mr Wen would ask Mr Bush to help rein in perceived separatist moves by the Taiwan authorities. China would gauge the White House's stance on the Taiwan issue to decide its future ties with the US. US officials, on the other hand, would prefer to use the premier's four-day visit to press Beijing to reduce China's growing trade surplus with America. But The New York Times report said the Bush's administration should not exaggerate the negative effects of Chinese imports on the US unemployment problem. The Washington Post, which interviewed Mr Wen in Beijing on November 22, published a long background feature on the premier. The report described him as the 'ultimate survivor' and a closet ally of President Hu Jintao. The two men together formed a reformist team which was trying to consolidate its power and minimise the remaining influence of former president Jiang Zemin, it said. It said the premier, who was 'cautious and soft-spoken', was nonetheless willing to take risks at key moments, make bold decisions and take responsibility. Executive editor of The Washington Post Leonard Downie, who interviewed Mr Wen, said he was 'personable and well-spoken but also careful and serious'. Speaking on an internet forum, Mr Downie said the premier understood the American government and was pragmatic about how to get along with it. ON THE AGENDA New York - Meet UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan - Reception for Chinese consulate staff, overseas Chinese and students - Visit New York Stock Exchange - Attend lunch hosted by US bankers Washington - Meet US officials including President George W. Bush - Reception for Chinese embassy staff, Chinese company representatives and students - Attend dinner by US groups - Interviews with US media Boston - Deliver speech at Harvard University Recent comments by Beijing: 'The Chinese people will pay any price to safeguard the unity of the motherland.' - Premier Wen Jiabao, in an interview with The Washington Post, November 22. 'I'm not just surprised, I am shocked, and Chinese people have been surprised and shocked.' Mr Wen, on sanctions announced by the US on Chinese bras, dressing gowns and knitted fabrics in the same Washington Post interview. 'The general trend of Sino-US relations, it must be said, is generally good. Recently, co-operation between China and the United States in a series of areas has been good, including in trade, non-proliferation and anti-terrorism.' - Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao, at a rountine briefing on December 4 in Beijing. Recent comments and actions by Washington: November 19, US Commerce Secretary Don Evans imposed quotas on bras, dressing gowns and knitted fabrics made by China. November 25, US raised duties on Chinese TV imports from 28 to 46 per cent. 'We reaffirmed to the Chinese again today, and will when Premier Wen is here next week, that we remain totally committed to our 'one-China' policy founded on the three communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, and we do not support an independence movement and we do not support independence for Taiwan.' - Secretary of State Colin Powell, in Washington on December 5.