( dpa ) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown left for a visit to China and India Thursday expected to centre on trade, the environment and human rights, officials in London said.
It is Brown's first trip to the two countries since he became prime minister last June, though he paid a high-profile visit to India in early 2007.
He last visited China in 2005.
Talks in Beijing are expected to centre on trade and the environment, with Brown holding the view that "tens of thousands" of British jobs could be created with an expected 50-per-cent increase in business with China over the next two years.
Brown would also want to learn about China's preparations for the Olympics in Beijing this year, setting the scene for London hosting the next summer games in 2012.
Human rights would also be raised, officials said.
Foreign policy issues to be discussed in talks with Chinese leaders are the crises in Darfur, Iran and Zimbabwe.
"The visit by the British prime minister to China will surely push the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Britain to a new height," China's ambassador to Britain, Fu Ying, said on British television.
Brown is expected to stop over in India on his return trip next week.