China Makes Big Deals in US Trade Mission

A CHINESE trade and investment mission to the United States will return home with signed contracts worth more than $11 billion, the official Xinhau news agency said yesterday.

A trade and investment fair in New York closed with the signing of 62 contracts and agreements worth $5.4 billion, Xinhua said. Eleven contracts worth $1.3 billion and 134 agreements worth $4.4 billion had been signed at a similar fair in Los Angeles last week. The 200-member mission arrived in the US two weeks ago as part of China's efforts to obtain renewal of its most-favored-nation (MFN) trading status.

The US has made MFN renewal conditional on an improvement in China's human rights record.

But at the contract signing ceremony in New York, Foreign Trade Minister Wu Yi said, ``Mixing [trade] with other issues is not wise,'' according to the People's Daily newspaper.

The New York deals included six contracts for US investment in China and agreements by China to buy $600 million worth of US commodities. Between now and 2000, China will import goods worth $1 trillion, Mr. Wu said, adding that the huge Chinese market was the best place for companies with vision.

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