British Prime Minister David Cameron plans visit to China in December
Agence France-Presse in London
British Prime Minister David Cameron plans to visit China early next month to meet the leadership in Beijing and forge business links.
Cameron said he would take a delegation of ministers and business leaders on the trip, which would be his first to the country since President Xi Jinping took office in March.
The trip is regarded as so important that the annual autumn budget update by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has been postponed by one day to December 5.
The announcement comes one month after Cameron's coalition government signed a £16 billion (HK$198 billion) deal involving China General Nuclear Power and the China National Nuclear Corporation to build Britain's first nuclear plant in a generation, along with EDF, the French energy giant.
Cameron last visited China in November 2010, six months after taking office.
"I can announce this evening that, in early December, I will be leading another delegation to China," Cameron said at the Lord Mayor of London's banquet in the capital.
"As China's new leadership sets its direction for the next 10 years, as their country's star continues to rise in the world, I will take senior British ministers, as well as business leaders from every sector large and small, to forge a relationship that will benefit both our countries and bring real rewards for our peoples," he said.
Cameron said his China visit aimed to "open the way for British companies to benefit from China's vast and varied markets and prepare the way for a new level of Chinese investment into the UK".
"This is a relationship that is for the long term, that matters for Britain and China, and which I look forward to continuing to strengthen in the months and years to come."
Osborne visited China last month, coming away with a range of investment deals, paving the way for the nuclear pact.