Queen Elizabeth II has greeted at Windsor Castle the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, who is in Britain to boost trade ties and mend diplomatic relations.

A military band played to welcome Li and his wife Cheng Hong to the castle Tuesday, before the queen greeted the pair in a lavishly decorated drawing room for a brief meeting.

The Chinese leader also met with Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior government officials, and the two sides are expected to announce a slew of trade and investment deals.

Li's visit — the first since he became premier 15 months ago — is part of an effort to thaw diplomatic ties, which had cooled after Cameron met with Tibet's Dalai Lama in 2012.