When President Xi Jinping arrives in Britain on Monday it will mark "a game-changing moment" in the relationship between the two nations. Over the past decade the talk has been of a "strategic partnership", but things have most definitely moved on in recent months. Ten years after the last visit to Britain by the Chinese head of state there is a lot more at stake than simply strengthening Sino-British ties. While Beijing needs overseas markets to ensure continuing economic growth, London just loves foreign investment like never before. Put simply, Britain is desperate to become "China's best partner in the West" and apparently it will go to any lengths to secure that moniker. Such is the importance of the five-day visit that nothing will be allowed to derail the deal-making, not even weighty issues such as Tibet, Hong Kong or human rights. While in Britain, Xi will announce multibillion-pound investment deals while other agreements will be sealed and understandings reached on a range of ventures. His visit follows last month's trip to China when Britain's Chancellor George Osborne opened the bidding for the £11.8 billion (HK$140 billion) High Speed Two (HS2) rail link contracts that will see phased connections between London and the West Midlands, and on to Leeds and Manchester; many people felt it was strange given that the controversial scheme to build these faster links is a long way from being approved. Osborne also pledged £2 billion in initial support for a £16 billion nuclear power project at Hinkley Point in Somerset, in southwest England. Two state-owned enterprises, China General Nuclear Corp and China National Nuclear Corp, are interested in financing the scheme. To many critics the idea of placing even a fraction of the Britain's future of nuclear power in foreign hands was shocking. Then there is a scheme that will make Britain the first Western nation to issue a bond in China's currency, the yuan. Up to now Britain has held reserves only in US dollars, euros, yen and Canadian dollars. In total the two nations signed 53 agreements at September's UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue in Beijing. Business leaders and politicians hope it is only the tip of the economic iceberg. READ MORE: Finance, investment and football: interview with Chinese President Xi Jinping upon his British tour Yet such high-stakes horse-trading is a hard to take for the 1,700 workers that lost their jobs after the closure of a large steel mill in Redcar, on Teesside, in the northeast of England. Thanks to the recent slowdown in China's economy and Beijing's aggressive pursuit of foreign cash for its goods, Europe has been flooded by cut-price steel leading to the end of production at SSI's British plant. The British government's refusal's to step in left it open to accusations of "breath-taking industrial vandalism". However, the loss of jobs and the closure of a plant that made the steel for the Sydney Harbour Bridge did not seem to unduly worry the politicians. They are busy building other types of bridges - with senior figures such as health minister Jeremy Hunt openly talking about how people in Britain must become as hard working as those in China. In fact, so cosy is the current relationship between China and Britain that the only disagreement appears to be just how "golden" an opportunity this really is. Osborne has hailed this as the "golden decade", while Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has a shorter-term view, calling 2016 a "golden year". Meanwhile, Liu Xiaoming, China's Ambassador to Britain, prefers the "golden era" school of hyperbole. In 2005, when the then-prime minister Tony Blair shook hands with then-president Hu Jintao the smiles hid a good deal of wariness. Hundreds of years of mistrust do not disappear overnight. In fact, on the face of it, a decade seems to have done the trick. In those 10 years a Sino-British mutual appreciation society has been formed - with mutual benefit at the heart of the relationship. Of course, both London and Beijing hope that the 62-year-old Xi's visit will pass off without incident. When Premier Li Keqiang visited the Britain last year, Beijing accused London of a lack of courtesy after the red carpet leading to the steps of his aircraft was found to be several metres too short. READ MORE: President Xi Jinping in Britain: How he will spend his time This time Cameron and the royal family will roll out what has been described as the "reddest red carpet" for the Chinese leader. Xi's itinerary features a state banquet at Buckingham Palace - where they will also stay - and visits to the Prime Minster's official residence, 10 Downing Street, his country retreat, Chequers, and the Houses of Parliament, as well as a trip north to Manchester. Before the trip, Liu warned that Xi would feel offended if state visit was used to raise the subject of China's human rights record. Pointedly Liu said Britain was fast becoming the leader of the Western countries with the best relations with China, and said he expected Xi's visit to "herald a golden era for the relationship". To drive home the point, Liu reminded Britain it was "coming up from behind" after losing ground to other European nations in its relations with Beijing. Britain might do well to remember that despite the efforts of the past decade it is still only China's second-largest trade partner in the European Union — well behind Germany. Niv Horesh, director of Nottingham University's China Policy Institute, said he believed there had been a shift in the British government's policy towards China, which is now "formulated and moulded" by the Treasury rather than the Foreign Office. "The UK and China's relationship is at a crossroads and there are some really fateful decisions to be made by the British government," he said. "This week is all about how much Britain wants to seize the moment of Xi's presidency and his very serious intentions of allowing more investment. Put simply, Britain needs to re-prioritise." Also, Britain had to be careful not to be seen as "condescending or lecturing" towards China, he warned. "Constantly prodding China about human rights will not make them take a more effective role in that regard." When Osborne visited China it was clear human rights, in public at least, were off the agenda. That may seem odd, because in June Cameron spoke at the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta at Runnymede, on the banks of the Thames. The document, a copy of which is on display in Beijing, set up the principles of parliamentary democracy, human rights and the supremacy of law. "What happened in these meadows eight centuries ago is as relevant today as it was then," Cameron said. "That relevance extends far beyond Britain." The same man was derided over his "weak" response to last year's crackdown on Occupy Central democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. The UK and China's relationship is at a crossroads and there are some really fateful decisions to be made by the British government Niv Horesh Leading pro-democracy campaigners accused Cameron of selling out activists in the territory "for 30 pieces of silver". He was accused of failing to back the demands of pro-democracy campaigners, who said China's decision to select candidates for the post of chief executive before the 2017 elections violated the Joint Declaration, signed by Britain and China, concerning the conditions under which Hong Kong reverted to China in 1997. Perhaps Cameron learned his lesson after being cold-shouldered by China after meeting the Dalai Lama in 2012; there was no repeat last month when Cameron refused to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader in exile. While Xi's British hosts are hoping to keep politics out of his visit, to avoid upsetting their increasingly economically powerful guest, no state visit would be complete without some potential diplomatic pitfalls. Already the menu for the welcoming luncheon at Buckingham Palace has caused a bit of a stink between the two countries — especially the fish. Royal sources said the Chinese delegation, led by Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, "politely declined" the turbot and crab, because it was neither cured or smoked. No one mentioned pork. It has also been reported that the Chinese would be bringing their own water when they arrived on Tuesday. The luncheon will be followed that night by a glittering state banquet, but that, too, is no straightforward affair. The banquet will be attended for the first time by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but Prince Charles, who infamously described Communist party leaders as "appalling old waxworks" after Hong Kong's 1997 handover, will not attend. Charles counts the Dalai Lama as a personal friend and boycotted previous state visits in 1999 and 2005. He is expected at a Buckingham Palace luncheon earlier in the day with Prince Philip, who memorably told students during a 1986 tour of China that they would become "slitty-eyed" if they stayed too long. Jeremy Corbyn, the new Labour Party leader and a staunch republican, will be there - his first royal event. Given his record on human rights he would "be raising issues about human rights next week", his spokesman confirmed. "If he gets private meetings, he'll be doing it in that meeting; that's the right thing to do." Certainly Downing Street will be praying Corbyn does not make his views known over the main course.