BEIJING (AP) -- A Chinese trade mission has signed $600 million in deals with U.S. companies ahead of President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington this week and a separate delegation will look into other opportunities, the government said Tuesday.
China frequently announces such deals in connection with high-profile foreign trips by its leaders in hopes of creating a positive atmosphere for the visit. Hu is due to meet this week with U.S. President Barack Obama amid an array of strains over trade and Chinese currency controls.
The six deals signed Monday in Houston by a group of Chinese companies cover imports of porcelain and cotton and an agreement to collaborate on development of solar power equipment, the Cabinet said on its website. It gave no details of individual contracts.
The delegation was led by a deputy commerce minister, Wang Chao, the statement said.
"These six deals are just the start of further strengthening Chinese-U.S. economic cooperation," Wang was quoted as saying. He said the agreements were aimed at increasing Chinese imports of U.S. goods and investment in the United States.
Separately, the Ministry of Commerce announced that Wang also will lead a 500-member mission of Chinese businesspeople and trade officials to Chicago on Friday to look into other possible business deals.