Date
22 July 2017
Britain is committed to strengthening economic ties with China, Theresa May says. Photo: Reuters
Britain is committed to strengthening economic ties with China, Theresa May says. Photo: Reuters

British PM seeks to reassure China amid nuclear spat

Britain has sought to reassure China about its determination to pursue stronger trade and business ties despite some issues related to a nuclear power project.

In a letter to China’s leaders, Theresa May, who took over as Britain’s prime minister last month, said her nation “looks forward to strengthening cooperation with China on trade and business and on global issues”, Reuters reported.

The letter, addressed to President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, came after Beijing expressed concern about London’s delay in approving a nuclear project in which China was involved.

Britain’s new government has said it will review the US$24 billion Hinkley Point nuclear project in southwestern England which was to be funded partly by China.

The decision has raised questions about Britain’s openness to Chinese money in the wake of the Brexit vote.

But May is now seeking to put the doubts at rest, writing to China’s leaders that Britain attaches great importance to Sino-British cooperation.

China’s foreign ministry revealed the contents of the letter, which was confirmed by a source in May’s office, Reuters said.

The financing deal for the Hinkley Point nuclear project was signed during a state visit to Britain by Xi last year.

May’s predecessor, David Cameron, said the project was a sign of Britain’s openness to foreign investment.

However, May is said to have been concerned about the security implications of the planned Chinese investment, prompting a review.

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RC

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