Nothing but the best for President Xi Jinping – the Chinese leader was treated to an extravagant banquet laid on by Queen Elizabeth in Buckingham Palace at the end of his first full day in the UK.
The state visit ( lasting four days) is expected to seal more than 40 billion euros of deals and investment in a 24 billion euro nuclear power project. Britain literally is laying out the red carpet.
In a speech Queen Elizabeth hailed the “milestone” visit of President Xi and declared Anglo-Chinses ties were being taken to “ ambitious new heights”.
“The relationship between the United Kingdom and China is now truly a global partnership. We have much reason to celebrate the dynamic, growing economic relationship between our countries, as well as our success in working together to address pressing international challenges.”
But not everyone has been so welcoming. Anti- Beijing protesters at the gates of the palace who are concerned about China’s human rights record and the future of Tibet, did their best to be heard by the dignitaries inside.
The protests were organised by the Anti-China Free Tibet group and the human rights group Amnesty International.
The visit is to include dinner at the prime minister’s country residence at Chequers and a trip to Manchester University.
However it comes amid 1,200 job losses in the UK steel sector, with cheap Chinses imports among factors being blamed.