(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Britain hails gas to finance pacts as li visit ends three-year diplomatic freeze
david cameron and li keqiang leave 10 downing street after a meeting in london on tuesday. — afp
britain and china have signed trade deals worth over 28 billion during a visit by chinese premier li keqiang british prime minister david cameron said on tuesday.
“today we have signed deals worth more than 28 billion billion” said cameron at a joint press conference in london.
both sides are seeking to heal ties which were strained when cameron met exiled tibetan spiritual leader the dalai lama in 2012. li’s visit confirms the end of a three-year diplomatic freeze caused by arguments over human rights and tibet.
earlier li met queen elizabeth ii at windsor castle as part of his three-day visit which comes after cameron’s trip last december to china.
no details were given of the agreements but british energy giant bp said earlier that it would be signing on tuesday a deal worth around 20 billion over 20 years with chinese state-owned peer cnooc to supply china with liquefied natural gas. royal dutch shell is also reportedly set to sign an accord with cnooc during li’s visit.
in addition china’s state bank is said to be investing in the hs2 high-speed rail link between london and the midlands and north of england.
china minsheng investment corp the country’s largest private-sector investment group will invest 1.5 billion into industries including financial services offshore engineering new energy and environmental protection and open its european headquarters in london prime minister david cameron’s office said in a statement.
the uk is also aiming to begin talks on ending a 30-year-old chinese ban on british beef and lamb exports.
li wrote in the times newspaper on monday that there were “many areas for collaboration” between the two countries. he added that he was hoping for “stronger cooperation in finance infrastructure construction among others” and that “we look forward to win-win engagements”.
“before i came here we used to say when we talk about europe: britain france and germany” liu xiaoming the chinese ambassador in london told reporters. “but unfortunately many opportunities were missed in the past year or so — and we all know the reason behind it — so people now start talking about germany france and britain.”