UNITED STATES Commerce Secretary Ron Brown is seeking another US$20 billion worth of business contracts with China in meetings in Beijing. Mr Brown said he received assurances yesterday morning from China's Foreign Trade Minister Wu Yi that deals announced last year worth US$6 billion to American companies in China were moving forward. Seeking to strike a friendly tone ahead of next week's summit between President Bill Clinton and President Jiang Zemin in New York, Ms Wu and Mr Brown discussed a range of business topics for more than an hour in Ms Wu's office. After the meeting, Ms Wu lashed out at critics who said the US$6 billion package of Sino-US deals announced with great fanfare during Mr Brown's visit to Beijing last August had failed to materialise. 'It will take quite a long time for these projects to be implemented,' she said. She said most contracts were under way and that her ministry was working hard to see the deals through. A briefing paper prepared for Mr Brown's visit said that only US$800 million of the US$6 billion had been 'consummated' so far and urged Mr Brown to press Ms Wu for progress on the remaining deals. Mr Brown said he was quite satisfied with Ms Wu's assurances on billion dollar power projects in Taishan, Jiangsu and Yancheng. He said an another project, a US$1.2 billion Datong Power plant, was delayed because China was 'phasing in' its energy projects, but said 'it is not dead'. Mr Brown said Ms Wu had raised the issue and gave him assurances. He reported her saying: 'It is clear that the success of these projects will enhance our relations.' One specific outcome of the talks was an agreement to place a vice-chairman of the State Planning Commission on a joint Sino-US business forum, the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. The US hopes having the Chinese planning body involved in the forum, which formally opened its ninth session yesterday, would allow power plants to be built more quickly once deals were reached. Ms Wu asked Mr Brown to lobby other members of Mr Clinton's cabinet to support China's bid to enter the World Trade Organisation (WTO). A member of Mr Brown's delegation said Ms Wu told Mr Brown that China judged its friends 'by their actions and not their words', implying that the US needed to do more than voice its general support for China's eventual WTO membership. Mr Brown will lay further groundwork for the summit in a meeting with Mr Jiang this afternoon before he leaves for Hong Kong, where he will meet Governor Chris Patten and other officials. The US and other developed countries have spoken in favour of China's entry into the WTO but say China must first further liberalise its economy and reduce import barriers. Ms Wu said that the US annual review of China's Most Favoured Nation status was unnecessary and that anti-dumping charges against China were unfair. Mr Brown had hoped to visit Shanghai to open a management training centre backed by the US government at Fudan University. But the engagement was not approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in time for his visit despite the fact that one of the officials he met yesterday, vice-premier Li Lanqing, is a Fudan alumnus. Instead, Mr Brown visited another training centre at the headquarters of Motorola (China) Electronics. Mr Brown said he expected the Shanghai facility to be approved in the 'next couple of weeks'.