Chinese president Xi Jinping arrives in the UK for state visit


Chinese president Xi Jinping has arrived in the UK as Britain rolled out the red carpet for the high-profile state visit.

Mr Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan will stay as guests of the Queen at Buckingham Palace, attend a glittering state banquet and dine with Prime Minister David Cameron at Chequers during their official four-day trip.

The Government is pulling out all the stops to court the leader of the world's second-largest economy, with a packed schedule for Mr Xi including an away day to Manchester with Mr Cameron.

Mr Xi and his wife arrived at Heathrow where he was presented with a bouquet of flowers by the welcoming party.

Downing Street has rejected accusations of "kowtowing" to Beijing for the sake of commercial deals, insisting that no subject will be off the table in talks during the state visit.

Mr Cameron will hold two days of talks with Mr Xi during a visit expected to be dominated by significant agreements on Chinese investment in UK infrastructure as well as opportunities for British companies to seek business in the growing Chinese market.

Among the business deals set to be sealed is an accord that could see the Chinese take a key role in constructing nuclear plants at Hinkley Point in Somerset, Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex.

But the Prime Minister has also been urged to raise issues ranging from human rights in Tibet and Xinjiang to China's dumping of steel on the world markets and concerns over cyber-attacks believed to originate in the People's Republic.

In the Commons Mr Cameron said the UK's relationship with China was "at such a high level that there is no subject off the table" and added that "of course" the steel industry would be discussed.