China Sending Trade Mission To U.S.

Trip comes ahead of a meeting of a high-level U.S.-Chinese economic forum held twice a year on economic and trade issues, a Chinese newspaper said.

BEIJING (AP) -- China is sending a trade mission to the United States this month ahead of the first meeting of a high-level U.S.-Chinese economic forum since President Barrack Obama took office, a state newspaper said Wednesday.

The group will visit Washington, Chicago and San Francisco, the China Daily said. It gave no details of which industries might be represented or whether they might sign contracts to buy American goods.

The trip comes ahead of a meeting of the U.S.-Chinese Strategic Economic Dialogue, a wide-ranging forum held twice a year on economic and trade issues. No date has been set but China has said Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao will discuss the format during this week's G-20 summit in London on the global economic crisis. The last meeting was in December.

Beijing sent similar missions to the United States ahead of past rounds of the dialogue to buy jetliners and other goods in an effort to diffuse trade tensions.

In February, a 200-member delegation delegation of Chinese businesspeople and officials visited Europe and the government says it signed contracts worth more than $13 billion in Britain, Germany, Switzerland and Spain.

A second group followed in March to look at investment opportunities in auto manufacturing, textiles, chemicals, energy conservation and other areas.

Beijing has described the missions as an effort to expand trade at a time when the global financial crisis is fueling protectionist sentiment.

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