Chinese Leader Unveils Trade Deals with Britain

Posted June 27th, 2011 at 8:20 am (UTC-5)
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Britain and China announced $2.2 billion in new trade deals on Monday. The announcement came following a meeting in London between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Chinese premier is finishing a three-day visit to Britain.

On Sunday, he went to the Chinese-owned Longbridge MG car factory in the central English city of Birmingham. He unveiled the first new MG car model in 15 years, calling it a potent symbol of friendship between London and Beijing.

Outside the factory gates, a group of protesters demanded freedom for Chinese-ruled Tibet. Some of the protesters' placards read “Cameron and Wen: Human rights before trade.”

Later in the day, Mr. Wen attended a brief performance at the Shakespeare Center in Stratford-upon-Avon, the playwright's birthplace.

Following his meeting with Mr. Cameron on Monday, the Chinese leader will travel to Germany, where German officials say the issue of human rights will be discussed during a Cabinet meeting.

China is demonstrating a growing interest in Europe, but Beijing's human rights record remains an important issue for European leaders. The Chinese government has faced fierce criticism for cracking down on dissidents and investing in African countries with authoritarian governments.