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Cameron seeks to boost UK trade relationship with China

By Ed Payne, CNN
Chinese premier Wen Jiabao (left) and UK Prime Minister David Cameron in Beijing, China on November 9.
Chinese premier Wen Jiabao (left) and UK Prime Minister David Cameron in Beijing, China on November 9.
  • Large British delegation visits China to talk trade
  • Visit is Cameron's first to China as prime minister
  • Topics of the visit will include trade, finance, energy and education.

(CNN) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron and a contingent of ministers and business leaders arrived in Beijing Tuesday as part of a tour to boost bilateral trade with the world's second-largest economy.

"This week I am leading one of the biggest and most high-powered British delegations ever to visit China," Cameron said in a piece written for the Wall Street Journal.

"We aim to deliver more than 40 specific agreements across the whole range of our bilateral relationship, from trade to low-carbon growth, to cultural and education initiatives," he said in the piece that appeared Tuesday.

"All of it, seeking to take Britain's relationship with China to a new level and to achieve strong co-operation on our shared economic and political interests."

"It is the biggest delegation ever to China, led by a British Prime Minister," Sebastian Wood, British ambassador to China, told a press briefing in the embassy prior to the visit, according to China's Xinhua news agency.

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  • David Cameron
  • China

Wood said discussions will be held on a wide range of topics including trade, finance, energy and education.

"We will announce new agreements to develop co-operation on international energy supply and a new U.K.-China partnership scheme to promote low-carbon growth. We will aim to enhance cooperation in Africa and enhance China's peacekeeping capacity," Cameron said.

"We will discuss our shared interests in international security. We want to work with China to help in global efforts to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon, and to put pressure on corrupt and intolerant regimes in Africa. We hope we can work closely together to prevent conflagration in North Korea and to improve the situation for the Burmese people."

Cameron's visit to China is his first as prime minister.

China reported last year that it recorded an 8.7 percent growth in its gross domestic product -- a broad mesaure of economic output -- defying global economic trends. Over the last 30 years, China's economic growth has averaged nearly 10 percent, surpassing Japan and moving into the No. 2 spot behind the United States.

"We are working to agree a new target to double the value of our bilateral trade with China by 2015 to more than $100 billion a year," Cameron said. "And within this we intend to raise U.K. exports to China to $30 billion per year over the same period."