Britain’s decision to delay final approval for the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant risks cooling relations with economic powerhouse China under new prime minister Theresa May, analysts say. May’s predecessor David Cameron, who quit after the June referendum vote to leave the European Union, made strong ties with Beijing central to his economic policy.
Japan Times 7th Aug 2016 read more »
China’s nuclear bomb-maker is to take a stake in Hinkley Point if the £18billion power station gets the go-ahead from the Government. The China National Nuclear Corporation, supplier of nuclear missiles to the People’s Liberation Army, will buy half of China General Nuclear’s 33.5 per cent share in the project, which is majority owned by EDF. It comes after Prime Minister Theresa May shocked the industry by saying the Government needed more time to review the project, reportedly over fears regarding investment from CGN.
This is Money 7th Aug 2016 read more »
Less than a year ago, George Osborne boasted of a “golden decade” in ties with China. It was grand rhetoric for a cobbled together package of red carpet visits, a problematic nuclear energy project and deals like the £45m agreement to export the UK’s finest pig semen. But even the cynics didn’t expect the shine to come off quite so quickly. Britain has just blindsided Beijing twice: through its shock announcement that the centrepiece nuclear project is on hold, pending a fresh review, and by voting to leave the European Union. The swift reversal on Hinkley Point C epitomises the dilemma posed by China’s ascendance. Other countries dutifully talk about partnership and win-win pacts, and there has been real progress on areas such as climate change. But for the most part, they have found themselves torn between the lure of the world’s second largest economy and their alarm at its might – its increasing influence and assertiveness, its authoritarian leadership, nationalism and hefty military investments, and its desire to reset the rules, as rising powers usually do. Tony Abbott said privately while he was Australia’s prime minister that his country’s China policy was driven by “fear and greed”. He could have spoken for many of his counterparts. While Hinkley Point was dominating front pages, news from China garnered less attention: the trials of human rights lawyers, part of a sweeping crackdown on civil society and dissenting voices. Zhou Shifeng, jailed for seven years for subversion, had represented families hit by the scandal of melamine-tainted milk powder which killed six infants and sickened 300,000, partly because of a cover-up by the firm and local officials, and self-censorship by journalists who feared retaliation.
Guardian 8th Aug 2016 read more »