LONDON, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang starts his four-day trip to Britain on Monday, during which multi-billion-dollar deals are expected to be made.
"The visit will further cement China-Britain political trust, enhance cultural exchanges and cooperation in nuclear power, high-speed railway, finance and high-technology, and bring vitality and new content to the bilateral partnership," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao told a press briefing Thursday in Beijing.
It is the first leg of Li's two-nation trip to Europe, which will also take him to Greece.
Li's visit is to build upon the momentum and inject new vigor into the China-Britain comprehensive strategic partnership, which sees its 10th anniversary this year and boasts increasing strategic, reciprocal and global significance.
The trip, Li's first to Britain since taking office in March last year, is another major diplomatic event between China and Europe following President Xi Jinping's Europe tour in late March.
The Chinese premier is scheduled to meet with Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister David Cameron. He will also speak at China-Britain economic and financial forums, and give a speech to top British think tanks, according to Liu Xiaoming, Chinese ambassador to Britain.
"The two sides are expected to sign over 40 agreements between the governments and businesses covering a wide variety of sectors including energy, investment, cultural and educational cooperation," Liu said Friday. "The total value could reach a record-setting 30 billion U.S. dollars."
Bilateral trade exceeded the historic mark of 70 billion U.S. dollars in 2013 and recorded an 11-percent increase year on year, remarkably higher than the 2.1-percent growth for the overall China-Europe trade.
Cooperation between China and Britain has huge potential, said Ma Zhengang, a senior advisor to China's Foreign Ministry, noting that Britain's relatively ageing infrastructure offered great opportunities for Chinese investors and exporters.
China also has considerable advantages in such sectors as nuclear power and high-speed railway thanks to the advanced technology it had developed and the competitive cost-effectiveness of its products, said Ma.