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China backs No vote for Scottish independence

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a press conference at the Foreign Office in central London. Credit: Press Association Images/Facundo Arrizabalag

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said he wanted to see a "united United Kingdom" in an apparent boost for the No campaign ahead of September's Scottish independence referendum.

Mr Li was asked about the referendum at a joint press conference with David Cameron in Westminster.

Mr Li said he wanted a "strong, prosperous and united United Kingdom that can stay at the forefront in leading the world's growth and development."

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond responded by saying that "Premier Li is of course entitled to his views" adding "it is noteworthy that he made clear the Chinese government will 'respect the choice' which the people of Scotland make this September whatever it may be".

Osborne: UK China trade deals part of economic plan

Following the announcement of £14 billion worth of bi-lateral trade deals between the UK and China Chancellor George Osborne tweeted:

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UK-China trade deals to include BP gas supply contract

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron laugh during a news conference at the Foreign Office Credit: REUTERS/Facundo Arrizabalaga

An £11.8 billion BP gas supply contract was one of a series of deals unveiled during a visit to the UK by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Other bi-lateral trade deals include the possibility of Chinese involvement in the controversial £50 billion high-speed rail project after the two countries agreed that the UK and Chinese rail industries will work together.

Prime Minister David Cameron signed trade deals worth over £14 billion between the UK and China which he described as a reflection of the popularity of the UK as an investment partner for China.

PM: China trade a 'key part' of govt's economic plan

David Cameron has been tweeting from the first day of the Chinese Premier's UK visit:

UK and China sign trade deals worth £14 billion

Chinese premier Li Keqiang and prime minister David Cameron at the Foreign Office, London Credit: Pool

China and the UK have signed business deals worth £14 billion in what Prime Minister David Cameron said was a "growing relationship" and reflected the popularity of the UK as China's country of choice for investment in Europe.

"We've had more Chinese investment into the United Kingdom in the last 18 months than we've had in the whole of the last 30 years combined," he said.

Mr Cameron said the figures proved Britain "was the most open economy in the EU, the most welcoming to Chinese investment," including in the nuclear industry and infrastructure, and was determined to keep it that way.

Campaigners urge PM to raise human rights with China

Campaigners have urged David Cameron to raise China's human rights record during his meeting with the country's premier Li Keqiang.

Mr Li is is accompanied by a team of Chinese business bosses, who are in the UK for the return leg of a trade boosting link-up begun by David Cameron last year.

On the eve of Mr Li's visit, Deputy PM Nick Clegg said the government would not shy away from raising China's "large scale and systematic" human rights abuses.

Activists campaigning for a variety of causes including Tibetan independence staged a noisy protest opposite the gates of Downing Street.

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The Queen hosts Chinese Premier at Windsor Castle

The Queen has met the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang this morning, only two months after a human rights row between China and the UK.

Mr Li and his wife traveled to Windsor Castle as part of their three-day official visit to the UK.

The Queen greets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Mr Li is in Britain for the return leg of a trade boosting link-up begun by David Cameron last year.

He will meet the Prime Minister in Downing Street later today.

The Queen receives Chinese premier Li Keqiang and his wife Cheng Hong at Windsor Castle Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

But only two months ago, the two countries found themselves in a diplomatic row over human rights.

China was angered by a British Foreign Office document criticising its rights record and called off an official meeting in London at short notice.

BP lands multi-billion deal with China

BP will sign a deal worth around £11.8 billion ($20 billion) with China to supply its National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) with liquefied natural gas, Chief Executive Bob Dudley said.

"It is a 20-year supply agreement on LNG. It is a fair price for them and a fair price for us. It is a good bridge between the UK and China in terms of trade," Mr Dudley said.

UK to secure £18 billion business deals with China

A team of Chinese business bosses, led by the country's Premier Li Keqiang, are in Britain for the return leg of a trade boosting link-up begun by David Cameron last year.

The three-day visit is expected to yield business deals worth over £18 billion total.

Here are some of the deals:

  • BP will sign a £5 billion deal to supply liquefied natural gas to China
  • £120 million deal to reopen UK lamb and beef meat exports to China
  • Nord Engine, a Chinese financial services group, will announce £150 million investment in UK and European small and medium tech businesses
  • China’s largest private sector investment group, China Minsheng Investment Corporation, will announce a new European HQ in London with an investment of around $1.5 billion
  • Royal Dutch Shell secured a new partnership with China's state-owned energy giant CNOOC
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