Premier Wen Jiabao walks with British Prime Minister David Cameron toward 10 Downing Street in central London on Monday. [Photo / Associated Press]
Wen, Cameron hold talks covering trade, security and human rights
LONDON - Trade deals worth $4.3 billion, including a $2.46 billion agreement on building a "clean coal" plant between China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group and British Seamwell International Ltd, were signed as Premier Wen Jiabao met British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday.
During talks at 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British prime minister, the two leaders signed 12 agreements and restated their desire to double bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015.
On human rights, Wen said at a news conference that there should not be any "finger-pointing" at China over the issue.
British gas company BG Group signed an agreement with Bank of China that allowed for up to $1.5 billion of new funding options to support BG's growth plans.
The Chinese poultry market will be reopened to UK exports, which were halted after a bird flu outbreak at a farm in eastern England in 2007, and Britain will supply breeding pigs to China, the British media reported.
The agreements will help British companies work with China in several key areas, including architecture, civil engineering, remote sensing satellite and research and development.
Analysts noted that Britain is scrambling to catch up with European rivals France and Germany in striking trade deals with China.
Cameron visited China in November, the same month that France secured contracts for French companies worth $19.1 billion.
British exports have increased 20 percent since Cameron's visit, and London is seeking deals to enable British businesses to branch out beyond Beijing and Shanghai into fast-growing regional cities.
When asked about the fact, at a joint news conference, that Chinese money is funding the next generation of railways in the UK, Cameron said he welcomes investment from abroad. On whether he had raised human rights during the talks, Cameron said: "Britain and China have such a strong and developed relationship. We have a dialogue that covers all these issues, and nothing is off limits in the discussions that we have."
Wen said that on human rights, China and the UK should "respect each other, respect the facts, treat each other as equals, and resolve differences through dialogue".
Wen stressed that China has been pursuing "political structural reform and improvement of democracy and the rule of law" as well as economic growth.