China’s President Xi Jinping on Tuesday began a four-day visit to the United Kingdom which is expected to strengthen ties between the two countries.
China’s president believes his visit will carry China-UK relations to a “new height,” but has been criticised by activists who accuse British Prime Minister David Cameron of ignoring abuses of human rights and liberties in China since Xi became China's president in 2012.
Xi was welcomed to the UK with a 41-gun salute and a red carpet.
He and his wife Peng Liyuan were greeted by members of the royal family and government officials. Moreover, Xi is expected to stay at Buckingham Palace. He was welcomed by the Queen.
The Chinese President will sign a deal in which China will contribute to the building of a nuclear power plant which could be opened in 2025 at Hinkley Point in Somerset. China will cover 30 percent of the cost of the first British nuclear plant in a generation.
The visit will reportedly seal more than $46 billion in investment and trade deals. However, there have been job losses in UK in the steel sector with cheap Chinese imports considered one of the reasons. Cameron said he will discuss the steel issue with Xi.
Anti-China protesters as well as pro-China supporters have gathered in front of the palace.
Xi insists that relations between Britain and China will "surely embrace an even brighter future.”
A meeting between Xi and Cameron is schedled to take place on the second day of the official state visit.