(CNN) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will depart Tuesday for a trip to China, Mongolia and Japan that will include meetings with China's top leaders.
The trip to China is at the invitation of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping as part of planned reciprocal visits by the two nations' top deputies announced earlier this year, according to a White House statement.
Xi is considered the likely successor to President Hu Jintao.
Biden will meet with Xi, Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao while in China, according to the statement. The vice president's itinerary also includes a visit to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in the southwest.
Biden will also go to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar to demonstrate U.S. support for democratic development there as well as growing diplomatic ties between the countries, the statement said.
In Japan, Biden will "express steadfast U.S. support for its close ally in the wake of the recent earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear emergency" and will also thank U.S. civilian and military personnel who aided the disaster response, the statement said.