US Trade Secretary Henry Paulson arrived in Xining in far western Qinghai province Sunday, kicking off a four-day visit to China, his second this year as part of the continuing Sino-American Strategic Economic Dialogue, Reuters reported. Paulson said he chose to begin his trip with a visit to nearby Qinghai Lake, which is threatened by climate change and desertification, in order stress cooperation opportunities for the US and China on the environment. “There is much more tension in the trade area, so this [the environment] is an important area where there is less tension and I think it's a good place to start this trip” he said. Paulson will visit Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday, where he will meet with President Hu Jintao and Vice Premier Wu Yi. Lawmakers in Washington began voting this week on legislation to allow stiffer trade penalties for “currency manipulation” and the current Congress is widely seen as the most hostile American legislature that China has had to face in recent years.