Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has used a private meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping today to discuss the current situation faced by the UK steel industry.
Although the details of the discussion have not yet been made public Labour has confirmed that Corbyn raised the issue of the impact Chinese imports is having on a struggling UK steel industry which is facing yet more job cuts.
Other topics of debate between the two politicians were:
- China's human rights record
- World security
- The history of links between the UK, the Labour Party and China
- Chinese achievements in poverty reduction and the lessons for the world agenda on human development
- Climate change and China’s initiatives in this area
- Cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and the UK
- Xi Jinping’s New Silk Road strategy - an infrastructure project aimed at improving connectivity from China across Eurasia
Chinese President Xi has said he believes his state visit will lift the friendly ties between China and the UK to "new heights".
Speaking in parliament he said: "I am already deeply impressed by the vitality of China-UK relations and the profound friendship between our peoples."
Addressing politicians President Xi added that our two countries needed to "join hands and move forward" together continuing to work co-cooperatively to find new opportunities.
He said: "I hope that you will continue to promote the UK's relations with China, strengthen our friendship and support our cooperation and I hope that you will build a bridge of understanding and cooperation so as to help create an even brighter and more promising future for our bi-lateral ties."
Prime Minister David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn have been pictured sitting together waiting for Chinese President Xi's parliamentary speech this afternoon.
The Queen exchanged gifts with the Chinese president today to mark the start of an official four-day state visit from Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng.
After handing over a collection of Shakespeare's sonnets in a specially commissioned leather and gilt box the Queen was presented with two of the President's wife's folk albums in return.
In addition to the albums the Queen was also presented with a 1.18 metre long work of embroidery, a large porcelain dish, a woodcarving and a stamp booklet in exchange for a pair of Royal Crown Derby candlesticks and a pair of silver framed photographs of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
The exchanging of gifts is a customary part of all state visits.
Gun salutes were held in London's Green Park and at Tower Bridge to herald the arrival of Chinese president Xi Jinping to the UK.
President Jinping was given a state welcome at Horse Guards Parade, followed by a lunch at Buckingham Palace with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.
The four-day state visit is part of government plans to build stronger economic ties to China.
A state party welcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UK has arrived at Buckingham Palace, having processed from Horse Guards Parade and along the Mall.
A private lunch will be held at the palace for the President and his wife, Madame Peng, after which the visitors will be shown around an exhibitoon in the Picture Gallery of Royal Collection items relating to China.
Later, they will visit the Palace of Westminster to be greeted by the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Lord Speaker, before travelling to Clarence House to chat with Prince Charles and Camilla.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have greeted Chinese President Xi Jinping, kicking off a controversial four-day state visit.
The military band gathered at Horse Guards Parade honoured the visitors with a rendition of the Chinese national anthem, before the Duke and the President carried out an inspection of the Guard of Honour.
While the government hopes the meeting will help forge stronger bonds between the two economies, protesters gathered nearby to criticise China on its record on human rights.
They argue Prime Minister David Cameron should demand answers before entering any deal.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have met President Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London, as part of the four-day state visit.
The military band played the national anthem as the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrived at Horse Guards Parade to greet the President of China Xi Jinpeng.
The Queen shook hands with members of military personnel gathered, stopping to speak with some of them ahead of Jinpeng's arrival.
The visit by China's president has been organised by the government in a bid to create economic links which could create jobs in the UK.
David Cameron has greeted soldiers gathering on Horse Guards Parade in London, as a formal Guard of Honour is formed for the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinpeng.
The UK Prime Minister arrived alongside Home Secretary Theresa May.
Members of the Royal family are also due to attend, marking the start of the four-day state visit.