China, UK to push trade links

Trade links between China and the UK will top the agenda in London when vice premier Li KeQiang holds talks with Prime Minister David Cameron later.

Both countries are keen to strengthen economic ties during the four-day visit which began in Scotland on Sunday.

Mr Li, who is tipped to become China’s next premier, has already signed a £6.4m green energy deal in Edinburgh.

He has also been campaigning to get the EU trade bans against China lifted and has just spent three days in Spain.

The EU has an arms embargo in place that limits high technology sales to China which could have a dual military use.

‘Whisky deal’

Britain, meanwhile, wants to urge China to open its markets and avoid protectionism.

The vice premier and Mr Cameron will sign new business agreements in a ceremony ahead of a lunchtime banquet.

The visitor will also meet other key government figures, including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Chancellor George Osborne and Foreign Secretary William Hague.

On Tuesday, Mr Li delivers a speech to business leaders, before returning to Beijing on Wednesday

He has brought with him around 50 government officials and another 100 Chinese business leaders – one of the biggest accompanying delegations from the east Asian nation ever.

On Sunday, a deal was struck which will see technology pioneered in Scotland used at a new renewable energy conversion plant in China.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said the licensing deal was reached between Sino-Scots firm Shanghai Huanuan Boiler and Vessel Co/Cochran and Scotland-based engineers W2E Engineering, which specialises in generating electricity from domestic refuse.

Talks were held with the Scottish executive in Edinburgh and Mr Salmond said the visit was vital for building economic growth.

China has already made several Scottish trade agreements, including a deal requiring all “Scotch Whisky” sold in China to have been made in Scotland.

In Spain, Mr Li signed £4.8bn ($7.5bn, 5.7bn euros) in trade deals and has also visited Germany.
Source: BBC

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