China's Xi ends state visit to Britain with trip to 'northern powerhouse' Manchester

Chinese President Xi Jinping has been greeted by hundreds of enthusiastic and well-organized well-wishers in the northwest England city of Manchester.

Crowds waving Chinese flags have greeted Xi throughout his four-day state visit to Britain, outnumbering pro-Tibet and human rights protesters concerned about the British government's lavish welcome for the Chinese leader.

The two countries signed more than 30 billion pounds ($46 billion) in trade agreements during the trip, as Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain would be China's "partner of choice" in the West.

Before flying home Friday Xi was having lunch with businesspeople and civic leaders and visiting and a soccer academy in Manchester.

Britain is seeking Chinese investment in Manchester, which it hopes will become an economic and technological "northern powerhouse" to offset London's dominance.