China has issued its sternest warning yet to the UK that bilateral ties stand at a “crucial historical juncture” over London’s deferral of an £18bn nuclear power project. Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the UK, drew a clear link between Beijing’s desire to see an early go-ahead for the controversial Hinkley Point power project and the future of the UK-China relationship. The UK’s move last month to review the landmark deal, under which a Chinese consortium is due to part-finance the power station to be built by France’s EDF, threw into doubt a “golden era” of ties proclaimed during a visit to the UK by Xi Jinping, China’s president, last year. Any cancellation of the Hinkley deal would be likely to jeopardise other planned Chinese investments in the UK, according to Chinese officials, who declined to be identified. Nearly £40bn in investment deals and contracts were secured for the UK during Mr Xi’s visi
FT 8th Aug 2016 read more »
Liu Xiaoming, Chinese Ambasssador: UK-China relationship is at a crucial 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.
FT 8th Aug 2016 read more »
China has warned Britain that bilateral ties stand at a “crucial historical juncture” over London’s deferral of an 18 billion pound ($23.47 billion) nuclear power project, the Financial Times reported on Monday. China’s Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming wrote in the FT that he hoped London would keep its door open to China and that the British government would continue to support the nuclear project and come to a decision as soon as possible.
Reuters 8th Aug 2016 read more »
Politics Home 9th Aug 2016 read more »
China has warned Britain that the relationship between the two countries is at a “critical juncture” and will be at risk unless it goes ahead with the Hinkley Point nuclear power station. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, delayed a final decision on plans for Britain’s first new nuclear power station for a decade last month amid concerns about Chinese investment. Nick Timothy, her joint chief of staff, previously said MI5 believed Chinese intelligence services “continue to work against UK interests at home and abroad”. Writing in the Financial Times, Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador, said the delay to approving the plant could put “mutual trust” between the two countries in jeopardy.
Telegraph 9th Aug 2016 read more »
Guardian 8th Aug 2016 read more »
BBC 8th Aug 2016 read more »
China has issued a strong indication that relations between China and the UK could be threatened over the decision on the Hinkley Point nuclear project. Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the UK, has warned that bilateral ties stand at a “crucial historical juncture” over the government’s deferral of the £18 billion nuclear power project. Writing in The Financial Times, the ambassador gave a hint that “mutual trust” between the two countries could be imperilled if the UK decided not to approve the deal. The ambassador said: “Right now, the China-UK relationship is at a crucial historical juncture … I hope the UK will keep its door open to China.
The Times 9th Aug 2016 read more »
Deal or no deal? The new British government’s 11th-hour decision to reconsider a proposed nuclear joint venture with China is not just about business, but also about the future of diplomatic relations between two influential nations. It not only casts a shadow on recent, dynamic Sino-British economic cooperation, but also risks taking the sheen off a hard-won “golden era” of “special relations” between the world’s second- and fifth-largest economies. That China is the world’s last major communist-ruled nation and Britain a major Western democracy only adds to the stakes, along with the fact that they are both permanent members of the UN Security Council.
South China Morning Post 8th Aug 2016 read more »
It was already clear that Theresa May’s decision to review the Hinkley Point power plant had not gone down well in China. The nuclear plant upgrade is backed by billions of pounds of Chinese money and is also intended by Beijing as a key opportunity to showcase the country’s nuclear technology. So when the delay to giving the go-ahead was announced in July, China responded to suggestions its technology could not be trusted with a veiled threat saying its government would not ‘tolerate’ such accusations. Today, that veil has been lifted even more as the country steps up its pressure on Theresa May to give the £18bn project the green light. China’s ambassador to Britain, Liu Xiaoming had an article in the FT this morning
Spectator 8th Aug 2016 read more »
EDF’s decision to press ahead with the construction of an £18 billion nuclear power station at Hinkley Point was invalid after crucial information was withheld from some board members, French unions said yesterday. Three unions representing 80 per cent of EDF employees claimed that Jean-Bernard Levy, the chairman, knew the British government would delay its decision on Hinkley before the French utility’s board gave final approval to the investment. “Our three organisations are now saying enough is enough,” the CGT, CFE-CGC and FO unions said. They claimed the decision taken on July 28 was “null and void” because some board members of EDF, which is 85 per cent owned by the French state, were unaware of No 10’s decision.
Times 9th Aug 2016 read more »
Guardian 8th Aug 2016 read more »
The EDF board’s lack of information about the UK government’s request for more time to review the Hinkley Point nuclear project renders its go-ahead for the investment decision invalid, three EDF unions said on Monday. EDF Chairman and Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy said in a letter to top executives last week that he knew the UK government wanted to take more time to review the Hinkley Point nuclear contract before the French utility’s board voted to approve the investment, he said in a letter to top executives. EDF’s board narrowly approved the 18 billion pound ($24 billion) project on July 28. But hours later the government of new British Prime Minister Theresa May, which was set to sign contracts the next day, said it wanted to give the plan further consideration and postponed its decision to early autumn. In a joint statement, EDF’s top unions CGT, CFE-CGC and FO – but not the moderate CFDT – said that certain board members were aware of crucial information about the Hinkley Point project, despite the fact that the UK government’s wish to go fast had always been presented as justification for the urgency to sign. “Our three unions denounce this information asymmetry. They therefore consider that the board’s Hinkley Point decision, taken on the basis of incomplete information, is null and void,” they said.
Daily Mail 8th Aug 2016 read more »
The EDF Works Committee considers that the decision of the Board to validate the Hinkley Point project is “null and void” due to an “asymmetry of information” between administrators.
Les Echoes 8th Aug 2016 read more »
Signing off on a nuclear energy project that allows China to build its own reactors on British soil one day may have been too much for Prime Minister Theresa May. The Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in southwest England, the most expensive electricity project in the world, was once touted as the answer to the U.K.’s coming energy woes as it retires its fleets of coal-fired and nuclear stations. After years of delays, it falls on May to give government approval — a move she decided to postpone until the fall, soon after the French state-run energy company EDF made its final investment decision on Thursday. May’s concern is believed to be more about the project’s Chinese minority shareholder than its £18 billion price tag, though the previous U.K. government’s deal to provide heavy subsidies for the project over 35 years has fuelled widespread opposition to it. Hinkley is the first of three nuclear projects involving China’s state-run China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN). The first two would be built with French technology and some Chinese funding; the third would become the first Chinese-built-and-operated plant in the West. “There’s no other OECD country that would allow China to have access to its critical infrastructure,” said Paul Dorfman, an honorary senior research fellow at the Energy Institute at University College London, describing the successive plants as Russian dolls.
Politico 2nd Aug 2016 read more »
In reassuring UK’s security concerns, he said: “Thanks to the safeguards of international standards, there has never been a concern that foreign companies might control China’s nuclear reactors. The rapid progress of China’s nuclear power industry is proof of the success of international co-operation.” Liu also reminded the UK that Britain has a “state of the art supervision regime and legal system” and that its regulatory bodies are experienced and adequately resourced to ensure the safety of nuclear plants in the country.
IB Times 8th Aug 2016 read more »