Chinese state visit to U.K. goes from warm toasts to cold, hard cash

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LONDON — Britain will be China’s “partner of choice” in the West, Prime Minister David Cameron declared Wednesday, as China demonstrated its commitment by putting down a 6 billion-pound ($9.3 billion) stake in the U.K.’s first nuclear power plant since the 1980s.

Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the nuclear agreement on the second day of a four-day visit that has seen the two countries agree more than 30 billion pounds ($46 billion) in business deals.

Cameron said the “historic agreement” would create 25,000 jobs and eventually provide power to 6 million homes. But the nuclear deal is a focal point for critics who accuse Cameron of wooing the Chinese for trade deals while ignoring the country’s human rights record.

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