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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.

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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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