50 British business leaders have joined the Prime Minister on the pivotal visit, which is an opportunity to boost diplomatic and trading relationships ahead of negotiating a free trade deal after Britain leaves the European Union.
The bilateral talks will be private, however it is thought that as well as trade, Mrs May will want to discuss human rights and international conflicts with President Xi.
Yesterday, Mrs May and Chinese prime minister Li Keqiang signed a series of international cooperation agreements covering trade, investments, and people-to-people exchanges.
The agreement was celebrated as a sign of Britain’s post-Brexit free trade prospects as China agreed to open itself up to the UK market and import British agricultural products.
Chinese premier Li Keqiang hailed the “substantive results” of the bilateral agreement, which represents an improved trading opportunity for the UK.
He said: “In line with our agreement we extend openness to products of the UK including agricultural products.
“China will import UK products that are needed in the Chinese market.”
Mr Li vowed that UK-China relations would remain strong regardless of Britain’s future relationship with the EU.
Mrs May added: “We can work together not just to improve those links between us which will bring benefit to people in the UK and in China. But also working together on those global issues like North Korea and modern slavery which have an impact around the world.”
She said she looked forward to creating a “global Britain” by signing free trade agreements around the world once the UK has left the European Union.