Thursday 27th October 2016                 Change text size:

David Cameron continues to back EU-China trade deal

cameron by DFID - UK Department for International Development via flickr

David Cameron has backed a European Union and China trade deal, as he visits the Asian country on a trade mission. However, he has admitted that there would be some opposition to the deal within the EU.

The prime minister has previously stated that the EU deal could be worth “tens of billions of pounds” each year, benefitting the UK economy as a result. According to the Financial Times, Cameron will call for tariffs to be reduced across 20 sectors, including vehicles, mechanical and electrical goods.

Speaking as he arrived in China he commented, “Free trade agreements bring massive win-win advantages to both sides and as the leading free-trade, open, investing nation in Europe, we should be making that argument.”

The trade mission has previously been delayed after Cameron met with the Dalai Lama in May. Neither Cameron nor the Chinese leader has mentioned Tibet in their statements.

The prime minister added, “I’m not embarrassed that China is investing in Britain’s nuclear power and shares in Heathrow Airport or Thames Water or Manchester Airport. I think it’s a positive sign of economic strength that we are open; we welcome Chinese investment.”

Last month, George Osborne announced that the government was to give the green light to Chinese companies wanting a stake in British nuclear power. The chancellor argued that the deal was an important part of developing the next generation of nuclear power.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has also said that the country will begin allowing private capital to be invested in renewable energy and environmental protection. The investment is part of a plan to reduce pollution and boost the clean energy sector.

Research suggests that 80% of Chinese cities are currently failing to balance growth, resource efficiency and sustainable development.

New coal-fired power plants were recently banned in Chinese regions that already have more than 30% of the country’s coal-fired power generation capacity. The move aims to improve air quality in the Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong regions.

Further reading:

China and Mexico to start carbon trading schemes

China set to open doors to foreign green investors

COP19: China urges progress on 2020 climate finance targets

Carbon politics: ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ in the US and China

George Osborne is renationalising British energy for French and Chinese

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