US, China seal deals worth €5.1b

American and Chinese firms signed 35 deals worth €5.1 billion (US$8 billion) dollars ahead of a high level meeting that could formally endorse talks for a bilateral investment treaty, an AFP report said.

The inking of the agreements in Washington was witnessed by Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan and Commerce Minister Chen Deming, who are leading a cabinet team for the two days of talks beginning Tuesday, the AFP report said.

The US side to 'strategic economic dialogue' (SED) at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, east of Washington, will be led by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke.

The deals signed at the US Chamber of Commerce involved US firms such as General Motors, Texas Instruments, Cisco, Ford, IBM, Oracle and Motorola. Chinese firms included dominant local mobile operator China Mobile.

The signing will contribute to 'the healthy development' of US-China trade and economic ties and is part of plans by Chinese companies to increase imports from the immensely deficit-ridden US, officials, quoted by the AFP report, said.

A Chinese trade and investment mission involving 120 companies accompanying the Chinese ministers 'will be signing more than 70 buy-from-the-US contracts and agreements to invest in the US that are worth €8.7 billion (US$13.6 billion) in total,' according to a Chinese government statement.