The Chinese president has kicked off the last leg of his UK visit in style, meeting with football stars in Manchester. The tour comes as David Cameron's government hopes to secure more investment from Beijing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and British Prime Minister David Cameron brought their four-day tour of the UK to a close on Friday with a visit to an English Premier League football academy. The two signed business deals worth tens of millions of pounds later in the day.
On Friday, Xi, despite being a big fan of football club Manchester United, met with rival Manchester City's Abu Dhabi-based chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak (pictured), and took a "selfie" with the team's leading striker, Sergio Aguero. Cameron just about managed to squeeze into frame, too.
Xi also paid a visit to City's state-of-the-art football academy.
Friends with benefits
Xi's royal welcome comes as Cameron hopes to secure more investment in the post-industrial north of England. The Chinese leader met with various Manchester-based business and civil leaders on Friday, all the while greeted by crowds waving Chinese flags.
All in all, China and Britain signed trade agreements worth more than 30 billion pounds ($46 billion, 41 billion euros) during the UK tour, which began on Tuesday.
Some people were not happy about the Chinese president's visit, however, criticizing Cameron for overlooking the country's human rights abuses in exchange for lucrative investment deals. At one point, a survivor of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre stepped out in front of Xi's motorcade and was subsequently arrested.
Prior to departing for Manchester, on Thursday evening, Xi and Cameron had made aquick stop at a local pub
not far from Cameron's country residence.
blc/msh (AFP, AP, dpa)