The mayors of Beijing and London on Monday signed a sister city agreement, vowing to promote exchanges and cooperation.
Visiting London Mayor Ken Livingstone said both cities would benefit from enhanced ties.
He said that this agreement would promote the two cities as closer commercial partners, and the understanding of each other's culture for both sides will be strengthened by communications in the sectors of tourism and culture.
Beijing and London are the two consecutive hosts of the Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012 respectively. Livingstone and Beijing Mayor Wang Qishan agreed to enhance cooperation on the games.
Wang was invited to attend the meeting of European mayors in London next year.
The sister city relationship, which will be effective for at least five years, means relations will be closer.
London's other sister cities are New York, Moscow, Berlin and Paris.
Livingstone will promote London as a tourist destination and academic center during his three-day visit to China.