President Michael D Higgins begins a seven-day State visit to China today.

The President will be accompanied by Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charles Flanagan and his wife Sabina Higgins. 

On arrival in Beijing tomorrow, the President and Sabina will visit the 'Forbidden City'.

The President will also attend events organised by Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, IDA, Tourism Ireland and Culture Ireland.

The last State visit to China was by former president Mary McAleese in 2003.