Deals signal greater Sino-British co-operation on green economy
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's calls for Britain and China to work together on the green economy and jointly pursue sustainable development bore fruit yesterday when trade deals worth USD4.3 billion were signed by Wen and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
During talks at 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British prime minister, the two leaders signed 12 agreements and restated their desire to double bilateral trade to USD100 billion by 2015. The highlight was a USD1.5 billion agreement between China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group and the UK's Seamwell International Ltd to build a combined cycle plant using "underground coal gasification" in Inner Mongolia.
The UK and China share broad space for co-operation in such fields as scientific and technological innovation, energy saving and environment protection, and green economy, the two leaders said during Wen's trip to London as part of his European tour.
Analysts noted that Britain is scrambling to catch up with European rivals France and Germany in striking trade deals with China.
Kerry Brown, senior fellow at London-based Chatham House, told China Daily that the key points for the UK are having deeper trade links with China, being partners on environmental issues as well as in high-tech areas, and attracting more Chinese investment.
In another sign of increased economic co-operation between the two nations in the cleantech space, is a UK and Chinese collaboration announced yesterday will deliver the world's first pilot "cryogenic energy storage" plant in the south-east of the UK.
The system, designed with scientists from the University of Leeds, uses liquefied air to store off-peak energy which the developers say can be used on a utility scale and is significantly cheaper than batteries. The energy storage technology has been developed by UK company Highview Power Storage and the demonstration site in Slough is due to be operational next month.
Chinese firm Chengdu Air built the system in China before shipping it to the UK. An engineering team from the firm is currently on-site to commission and test the air liquefaction plant - the front end of the process.