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China, UK seal deals on trade
7/9/2005 8:42

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and British Prime Minister Tony Blair vowed yesterday to cooperate in hosting the Olympics in 2008 and 2012 and to promote greater trade ties in the meantime.
The second day of Blair's visit to China also yielded aircraft and banking deals between the two nations.
Airbus, the European aircraft maker in which Britain's BAE Systems Plc holds a 20 percent stake, signed an agreement to sell 10 A330 jets to China Southern Airlines, while British bank Standard Chartered sealed the purchase of a 19.99 percent stake in China's Bohai Bank. (See stories on P9.)
Meanwhile in Shanghai, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said yesterday that the trade bloc is determined to lift a 16-year-old arms embargo against China but hasn't decided when to do so.
Blair met Wen for five hours on Monday during a China-EU summit because Britain currently holds the rotating presidency of the 25-member group. But yesterday the talks switched to bilateral issues before Blair was due to depart for his next stop, India.
Wen told Blair in the Great Hall of the People that the two countries should expand trade and two-way investment, support energy cooperation and encourage exchange in the education and cultural sectors.
Beijing will host the Olympics in the summer of 2008 and London will follow in 2012.
"We should further promote substantial cooperation in all fields," Wen said, praising Sino-British cooperation in United Nations reform, anti-terrorism, trade, investment, science and culture.
Blair said multi-level dialogue between Britain and China has created a sound environment for promoting bilateral relations and that his country will further cooperate with China to promote trade and economic ties and deepen education and culture exchanges.
In Shanghai, Solana said EU countries were still debating when and how an embargo on arms sales to China imposed in 1989 might be lifted.
"We want to take a decision that is part of a solution, not part of a problem, and therefore it has to be well explained and understood by everybody," Solana said.
EU countries led by France and Germany have pushed to lift the arms ban, calling it a historical relic that impedes diplomatic and trade ties with China.
"We think it is part of history, this embargo, but we have to find a manner and the moment in which it can be done without any difficulty, any problem," Solana said.
The United States opposes an end to the arms sales ban.
Solana, who was also in Beijing for Monday's summit, sketched out an overview of Sino-EU relations as he addressed the China Europe International Business School yesterday morning.
"China and the EU are natural partners in many ways," he said. "There is a lot we have already achieved together, but there is ever more work to be done."
Solana said the summit demonstrated that the strategic partnership China and the EU launched two years ago is growing wider and deeper.
"We both prize international stability and order. We are both strong supporters of multilateralism and international law as the best means to achieve this," he said.
He listed nuclear proliferation and the accompanying risk of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism among the key challenges that China and the EU face.
Also on Monday, China and the EU reached an agreement that would unblock Chinese textiles piling up on European docks because import quotas had been exceeded. The deal now awaits approval by the EU's member nations.
The initial signs were encouraging, European Commission spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen said yesterday.
"The agreement with China is still subject to approval, (and) the first signal we have received from the member states appears to be positive," Hansen told an EC press conference in Brussels.

Shanghai Daily/Xinhua