China and Bangladesh struck a key energy agreement calling for cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy and exploration of coal mining, part of nine bilateral accords signed by Premier Wen Jiabao and his counterpart Begum Khaleda Zia, Agence France-Presse reported. Bangladesh is Wen's second stop in his four-nation South Asian tour, a trip viewed as Beijing's attempt to consolidate its influence in the region. Beijing also agreed to give Bangladesh soft loans worth US$600m, including US$400m for setting up urban digital telephone exchanges, AFP said.
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