China’s relations with the UK are at a “crucial historical juncture” amid doubts over the future of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, the Chinese ambassador to the UK said in an article for the Financial Times.
“If Britain’s openness is a condition for bilateral co-operation, then mutual trust is the very foundation on which this is built”, Liu Xiaoming wrote in the article. He said the Hinkley Point C project is at the centre of Britain’s evolving trade relationship with China. “Right now, the China-UK relationship is at a crucial historical juncture. Mutual trust should be treasured even more.
I hope the UK will keep its door open to China and that the British government will continue to support Hinkley Point – and come to a decision as soon as possible so that the project can proceed smoothly”.
The ambassador’s intervention comes after the British government’s decision last month to delay final approval of the project, which is receiving major financial support from China. The Guardian said today that the prime minister Theresa May is thought to have ordered a delay owing to concerns about the role of China General Nuclear, which has a one-third stake in the Hinkley project.
Comments by Mrs May’s chief of staff, Nick Timothy, last year have led to claims that the delay has been prompted by concerns that Chinese state-owned companies were being allowed to invest in sensitive infrastructure, The Guardian said.