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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: And the winner is . . . Westinghouse! China and the U.S. have inked a deal that paves the way for Westinghouse to build four civilian nuclear reactors in China.

It's a multibillion dollar coup over French and Russian competitors. The timing is interesting since a large U.S. trade delegation is in China right now.

Emma Graham Harrison is a Reuters news agency correspondent in Beijing.

EMMA GRAHAM HARRISON: This is primarily a commercial deal, but I don't think you can isolate it from the political climate in which it was awarded. You know, Beijing and Washington have been sparring over the UN, they've been sparring over energy issues, and I think it's certainly very interesting that China did choose to give this deal to America.

The decision was a huge blow to France.

French President Jacques Chirac had counted on the deal to help France bolster its Asian exports and its position as a leader in nuclear technology.