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China, UK Expect Big Deals

China and Britain will sign agreements worth US$2.4 billion in the fields of aerospace technology and banking next week.

Christopher Hum, British ambassador to China, said on Friday in Beijing that the protocols will be reached on Tuesday during British Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to China, following a talk with his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, in Beijing.


No further details were available on Friday night.


Hum said a very solid personal relationship has developed between the two leaders. This will be their third meeting as prime ministers.


Hum noted a business delegation of 37 people, mainly chiefs or chief executive officers of British companies, will be in Blair's entourage. They cover a wide range of companies in areas such as banking, insurance, manufacturing, engineering and retailing.


Blair will arrive in Beijing on Monday to attend the eighth EU-China Summit.


Serge Abou, ambassador of the EU delegation of the European Commission, said the summit will present several achievements.


A wealth of agreements are expected to be sealed in such fields as employment and social benefits, space exploration, geographical indication and maritime transport.


Abou said the EU has decided to invest 55 million euros (US$68 million) in two projects to protect the biodiversity of China's two biggest waterways the Yangtze River and the Yellow River.


He noted that there would be another significant loan worth 550 million euros (US$680 million) offered by the European Investment Bank to China for the expansion of Beijing Capital International Airport.


(China Daily September 3, 2005)

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