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Blair: China's rapid development not a threat
Updated: 2005-11-10 06:14

The two leaders also exchanged views on major regional and international issues.

After the meeting, Hu and Blair attended the signing ceremony of the joint communique of the fifth meeting of Sino-British Trade and Investment Joint Committee as well as documents of aviation cooperation.

Blair: China's rapid development not a threat
Chinese President Hu Jintao (R2) and his wife Liu Yongqing (L2) pose for a photo with British Prime Minister Tony Blair (R1) and his wife Cherie Booth (L1) on the steps of 10, Downing Street in London Wednesday November 9, 2005. [Reuters]

State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and Britain's Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott were present at the meeting.

China signs 1.3b US$ deals with UK firms

China signed commercial aviation contracts worth 1.3 billion dollars (1.1 billion euros) with Rolls-Royce and Airbus that coincided with President Hu's state visit to Britain, AFP reported.

In deals witnessed by Hu and Tony Blair, China agreed also to open its markets to Lloyds of London, the world's biggest insurance underwriting market.

Engineering consultant Arup was meanwhile contracted to develop a master-plan for three new cities by the Shanghai Industrial Investment Corporation (SIIC), Blair's office confirmed.

Downing Street said the "major commercial deals" would "give a further boost to the rapidly growing business relationship between China and Britain".

British aerospace giant Rolls-Royce signed an 800-million-dollar deal with Air China, officials said.

The contract, to supply the Chinese with Trent 700 engines for a fleet of 20 Airbus A330-200 widebody jets, was signed by representatives of both companies at Downing Street.

The two firms had originally announced the deal, which includes an engine maintenance agreement, at the Paris Air Show in June.

Elsewhere, China Aviation Industry Corporation 1 (AVIC-1) signed a 500-million-dollar deal to build wing boxes for Airbus, the European aircraft maker.

The deal was an extension of a co-operation agreement signed earlier this year to start A320 wing assembly in China.

Arup's partnership agreement with SIIC meanwhile expands on its August contract to develop the world's first sustainable city, Dongtan, in China.

The new agreement sees Arup and SIIC partner on the development of two further sustainable cities. Dongtan Eco-City will initially house 20,000 people, and the 88 square kilometre site would be ready in time for the Shanghai Expo 2010, Downing Street said.

"SIIC and Arup are committed to making the project eco-friendly from the outset, implementing a solution to offset carbon emissions directly from the planning stage," a statement said.

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