Beijing’s top diplomat on Monday called for China and the European Union to consider a multibillion-dollar free-trade deal, a once unthinkable step that shows improving relations between the two countries, Reuters news agency reported Monday. “There are bright prospects for China-EU business cooperation,” Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi was quoted as saying after he met EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton ahead a visit to Brussels by President Xi Jinping in March. Both sides should “work jointly to create conditions for launching a feasibility study of a China-EU free-trade agreement”, Yang said. British Prime Minister David Cameron has voiced his support for such a free-trade deal. But the European Commission, which handles international trade negotiations on behalf of EU countries, insists there must first be progress on an “investment agreement” to make it easier for European countries to do business in China, the report said.
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