Prime Minister David Cameron will push for a free trade agreement between the European Union and China which he believes could be worth billions of pounds a year.
Mr Cameron's call came as he arrived in Beijing at the head of the largest British trade delegation ever to visit the country, which has emerged to become the world's second biggest economy in recent years.
The European Commission is due to begin investment treaty negotiations with China early in the New Year to cut back some of the barriers to trade.
But, in talks with premier Li Keqiang, Mr Cameron was set to become the first EU leader to champion a full-scale free trade agreement, which Downing Street said could be worth £1.8 billion annually to the UK alone.
The proposal is likely to face stiff resistance from some EU states, who fear their markets would be flooded with cheap Chinese imports.
The Global Times newspaper's criticism of the UK is stinging given that David Cameron has spent two days courting China's leaders.
David Cameron's visit to China has not been easy to arrange with the pressure for the trip coming from the British.
David Cameron hopes to mend relations with China as he brings a large trade delegation with him.