British, Chinese premiers target major trade expansion
( dpa ) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday promised a major expansion of bilateral trade after they held talks that also focussed on international security and the environment.
Brown said he had agreed with Wen to a target of expanding bilateral trade to 60 billion dollars annually by 2010, up from about 37 billion dollars last year.
The British prime minister said he wanted to broaden dialogue with China from politics and economics to science, education, culture, the arts, sport and "all major issues affecting two countries and the whole world."
Brown said Britain hoped to attract more Chinese investment, and he and Wen were scheduled to address a Sino-British business summit in Beijing.
"This year is going to be an incredibly successful year for both the Chinese economy and China as the host of the Olympic Games," Brown said.
Brown's three-day visit to Beijing and Shanghai is his first trip to China since he became prime minister in June.
He also planned to meet President Hu Jintao, chat with students at Beijing's prestigious People's University and visit Olympic venues.
Before leaving London, Brown told China's state news agency, Xinhua, that relations between China and Britain were "better than ever."
British officials said in London that Brown believed "tens of thousands" of British jobs could be created with the expected increase in business with China over the next two years.
Foreign policy issues to be discussed in Beijing included the crises in Darfur, Iran and Zimbabwe, the officials said.