Chinese premier, British foreign secretary underline free trade

21:04, March 16, 2010      

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China and Britain Tuesday pledged to make joint efforts to promote free trade and oppose protectionism.


Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) meets with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in Beijing, capital of China, March 16, 2010. (Xinhua/Li Tao)

"China and Britain should keep alert to trade protectionism and work together to oppose it," said Premier Wen Jiabao in a meeting with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, according to a press release from China's Foreign Ministry.

"Britain upholds free trade, and believes pressure should not be put on China regarding its currency," the press release quoted Miliband as saying.

Western countries have accused China of manipulating its currency. Wen pledged to keep the yuan stable at an appropriate and balanced level after the conclusion of the annual parliamentary session on Sunday.

Wen told Miliband China was firmly committed to reciprocal opening-up, and imports and foreign investment were increasing, according to the press release.

"We welcome British and other enterprises investing in China, and will offer favorable conditions for them," Wen said.

He proposed the two countries boost cooperation on the green economy, environmental protection, and climate change.

Wen said he hoped the two sides could improve communication, trust, and cooperation through the strategic dialogue mechanism to boost comprehensive and strategic partnership.

Miliband highlighted the importance of Britain-China relations, saying Britain was willing to find common ground with China.

Miliband is visiting China from March 14 to 17 as guest of his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi. He will hold strategic dialogue with State Councilor Dai Bingguo later Tuesday.

He arrived in Beijing after visiting the British pavilion at the Shanghai Expo site.

Source: Xinhua
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