It was hailed by UK Chancellor George Osborne as a “new dawn” – but serious questions remain about the security implications of Britain’s nuclear energy deal with China. The UK government has refused to say whether China’s planned investment in the British nuclear industry was approved by the National Security Council – the body that assess the risks from foreign investment in critical national infrastructure projects. Chancellor George Osborne announced during his trip to China in October that Chinese state owned companies CGN and CNNC would be allowed to take a 40% stake in the company planning to build the Hinkley C nuclear power station in Somerset. In the future Chinese firms could become “majority owners of a British nuclear power plant subject to British safety rules and policed by the British,” said Mr Osborne. Conservative MP Dr Phillip Lee said it was “perverse” and “Orwellian” to allow Chinese state owned firms a role in critical infrastructure projects like nuclear power at a time when questions over Chinese cyber-attacks on the west had not been resolved. He said future conflicts would not be about the “physical possession of nations” but would involve “control of information, control of infrastructure, water electricity and communication.” Labour MP Dr Alan Whitehead, also a member of the energy and climate change committee called the Chinese nuclear company CNNC an “arm of the state”. “There doesn’t appear to be a clear distinction between the role of the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation in developing civil nuclear and developing and forwarding military nuclear,” he told the World Tonight. “Big corporations particularly national corporations in China are not companies in the way that we would see them in the UK.” He said the Chinese military – the People’s Liberation Army – would be involved in some of the decisions made by the firm. He has called on the UK government to state publicly how the investment in critical national infrastructure was approved and by whom.