News / Asia

China Eyes Yuan, Infrastructure Deals During Li's UK Trip

FILE - China's Premier Li Keqiang gestures as he speaks during a news conference, after the closing ceremony of the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, March 13, 2014.FILE - China's Premier Li Keqiang gestures as he speaks during a news conference, after the closing ceremony of the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, March 13, 2014.
x
FILE - China's Premier Li Keqiang gestures as he speaks during a news conference, after the closing ceremony of the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, March 13, 2014.
FILE - China's Premier Li Keqiang gestures as he speaks during a news conference, after the closing ceremony of the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, March 13, 2014.
Reuters
— China's Premier Li Keqiang will discuss infrastructure, high-speed rail, nuclear and finance deals during a trip to Britain next week, as well as London's role as an offshore yuan trading hub, a senior Chinese official said on Thursday.
 
Li will meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron at his London residence on June 17, a reciprocal visit following the British leader's trip to China last year. Li will also go to Greece on the June 16-21 trip.
 
British finance minister George Osborne opened the door to further Chinese investment during a visit to Beijing last year.
 
He announced less stringent rules for Chinese banks operating in London, in a push to make the British capital the main offshore hub for trading in China's currency and bonds.
 
Osborne also paved the way for Chinese investors to take majority stakes in future British nuclear plants.
 
Speaking to reporters ahead of Li's visit, deputy Chinese commerce minister Gao Yan signaled further agreements would be signed.
 
“London has all along dedicated itself to becoming a renminbi trading center. Relevant departments in China and Britain have had proactive investigations into this,” she said, using the formal name for China's currency.
 
“On this visit to Britain by Premier Li I believe that there will be positive developments on this issue, including on financial cooperation,” Gao added. “We will fully make use of London's position as a financial center to further develop China's finance industry.”
 
China Construction Bank, China's second-largest lender, has been selected to become the first clearing service for renminbi trading in London, The Financial Times reported this week.
 
The internationalization of the yuan is one of China's most ambitious and hotly debated reform projects. From less than 1 percent in 2009, nearly a fifth of China's trade is now settled in yuan.
 
The objective is to increase the usage of the currency for trade, investment, and as a reserve currency, while lowering forex risk for Chinese companies and reducing the country's exposure to U.S. economic policy.
 
Free trade deal talk
 
There could also be agreements on energy, infrastructure and high speed rail, Gao said, praising Britain's open attitude towards foreign investment which she said was a “model” for the rest of Europe.
 
“Britain has a sound legal system, a transparent oversight environment. As long as companies accord with the law and the rules and demands of the regulators generally, then investment and business will have no barriers,” Gao added.
 
She said that both countries should work to push for a multi-billion-dollar free trade deal between Beijing and the European Union.
 
Cameron expressed his support for this when he was in Beijing in December, riling the EU executive which rejected the move as premature.
 
On the Greek leg of Li's trip, there will also be infrastructure and energy agreements, and China will encourage Chinese companies to participate in Greece's privatization program, Gao said.
 
She declined to provide details on any of the deals that could be signed in Britain or Greece, saying it would be a “surprise”.
 
China's Cosco Group and four other suitors have been shortlisted as potential buyers of a majority stake in Piraeus Port Authority OLP, Greek privatization agency HRADF said last week.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid