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Britain and China agree to up trade by 20bn euros

Britain and China agree to up trade by 20bn euros
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Britain and China have committed themselves to boosting business between the two countries by some 20 billion euros over the next two years. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao agreed to increase investment and trade by 50 per cent by 2010.

On his first visit to China since becoming prime minister, Brown was accompanied by more than 20 senior business figures, including Virgin boss Richard Branson. Brown said: “We want Britain to be the number one destination of choice for Chinese business as it invests in the rest of the world.”

Human rights activists have called on Brown not to shy away from bringing up difficult issues with the Chinese government. Human rights are on the agenda for discussion along with the environment and the crisis in Darfur.

Wen assured him that China was committed to the eventual introduction of democracy but said that different countries took different approaches, even though the goal was the same.

Wen said it was a good omen Brown had arrived just after the first snowfall of the year in the capital, and that it would symbolise a fresh start in Sino-British relations.