During Merkel visit, China buys Airbus jets, agrees to foreign exchange joint venture

China has committed to buying Airbus jets worth $17 billion during a visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also attended the signing Thursday of agreements between Nokia Corp. and phone carrier China Mobile Ltd. and between Volkswagen AG and a Chinese bank, ICBC Ltd.

The China Foreign Exchange Trade System and Deutsche Borse, which operates the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, also agreed to set up a joint venture.

Such agreements are a fixture of foreign leaders' visits to China and are meant to emphasize the commercial benefits of amicable relations with the world's second-largest economy.

The Airbus sale calls for China to buy 30 A330 jets and 100 A320 jets. Airbus has headquarters in France and Germany and employs 15,000 people at its German factory.