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UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao signed a $2.3-billion trade deal on Monday. The agreement will help to buoy the British economy, but critics want increased trade with China to come with commitments to improve human rights. Here's more.
Chinese and UK leaders signed a joint trade agreement on Monday (June 27) worth $2.3 billion dollars.
For the United Kingdom, this is part of a strategy to boost and diversify exports in an attempt to offset domestic demand. The UK has been forced to take deep spending cuts at home in reaction to the financial crisis hitting the Euro Zone.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the centerpiece of the agreement—a deal between British energy giant BG Group and Bank of China.
[David Cameron, UK Prime Minister]:
"I'm delighted that today's summit has seen new deals signed worth another 1.4 billion pounds. This includes BG's memorandum of understanding with the Bank of China."
The deal also requires the Chinese regime to re-open its poultry market to British fowl. The UK plans to double its trade with China to $100 billion by 2015.
But human rights activists are critical of the trade deal, saying that it should go hand-in-hand with commitments from the Chinese regime to improve human rights.
A group of protesters gathered outside of Downing Street on Monday (June 27) underlined these concerns with signs that read "Cameron and Wen: human rights before trade."
Wen Jiabao is on a tour for trade talks with leaders of EU countries. The Chinese leadership is attempting to increase foreign trade to cool-off its overheated economy and cap runaway inflation of the yuan.