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Premier arrives in Britain for official visit

Updated: Jun 17,2014 2:01 PM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang (C) and his wife Cheng Hong (R) arrive in London, Britain, June 16, 2014. Li arrived here for an official visit to Britain.[Photo/Xinhua]

LONDON -- Premier Li Keqiang arrived here June 16 for an official visit to Britain, with a series of cooperation deals worth 30 billion U.S. dollars expected to be signed.

Upon his arrival in London, Li said that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Britain comprehensive strategic partnership and the two sides are faced with an important opportunity to carry forward bilateral relations into a new phase.

“I am looking forward to having in-depth exchanges of views with British leaders on bilateral affairs and other issues of common concern, adding fresh impetus to and charting the course for the bilateral partnership so as to speed up the development of China-Britain relations in the upcoming decade,” he said.

During his stay in Britain, Li will meet Queen Elizabeth II and hold an annual meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Premier Li will also attend China-UK Global Economic Round-table and the China-UK Financial Forum, give a speech to top British think tanks and meet with business leaders from both countries.

The trip is Li’s first visit to Britain since he took office in March last year, and another major diplomatic event between China and Europe following President Xi Jinping’s tour in late March.

Observers in China view the visit as a sign that both countries have managed to ride out a rough patch in their relationship that started with Cameron meeting the Dalai Lama in May 2012 despite Beijing’s objections.

Britain is China’s third largest trading partner in the European Union and second largest investment source as well as a major destination for China’s overseas investment. Two-way trade topped 70 billion dollars last year.

The visit is the first leg of Li’s two-nation trip to Europe, which will also take him to Greece.