China's President Xi Jinping arrives in Britain for four-day state visit

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and his wife Peng Liyuan, arrive at Heathrow Airport in west London on Monday, for a four-day state visit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and his wife Peng Liyuan, arrive at Heathrow Airport in west London on Monday, for a four-day state visit.PHOTO: AFP
Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, is escorted by Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond after arriving for a four-day state visit at London's Heathrow Airport, Oct 19, 2015.
Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, is escorted by Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond after arriving for a four-day state visit at London's Heathrow Airport, Oct 19, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS
Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) talks with Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond after arriving for a four-day state visit at London's Heathrow Airport, Oct 19, 2015.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) talks with Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond after arriving for a four-day state visit at London's Heathrow Airport, Oct 19, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Britain on Monday (Oct 19) for a four-day state visit as the government of Prime Minister David Cameron seeks stronger trade ties with the world's second-largest economy.

Mr Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan waved as they stepped down from a large Air China plane, and were presented with a bouquet of flowers by a welcome party as they arrived at London's Heathrow airport.

The couple will stay as guests of Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, enjoy a state banquet and visit Mr Cameron's country residence.

 
 
 
 

Most in focus are the business deals that could be sealed, including on Chinese investment in helping build a nuclear power plant project in southwest England.

The two countries have said the reception heralds a "golden era", but campaign groups and British opposition figures have criticised Cameron for allowing investment opportunities to overshadow concerns over China's human rights record.

The visit follows a trip by Finance Minister George Osborne to China last month, in which he said Britain should be China's "best partner in the West".