Chinese investors have amassed nearly £134bn of assets in key UK industries ranging from energy companies and transport hubs to breweries and schools. Nearly 200 British companies are either controlled by groups or individuals based in China and Hong Kong or count them as minority shareholders, according to an analysis of business data. The list of investments drawn up by the Sunday Times includes Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, Heathrow Airport, Northumbrian Water, pub retailer Greene King and Superdrug. Serious concerns have been raised about the security implications of China’s investment in UK assets, most notably in relation to Hinkley Point nuclear power station which is owned by French energy firm EDF. In 2016 Theresa May’s government briefly put the project on hold before attaching new conditions to the £18bn deal. Nick Timothy, one of the Ms May’s chief advisers, had warned that China “could use their role to build weaknesses into computer systems which will allow them to shut down Britain’s energy production at will”. China General Nuclear Power holds a 33.5 per cent stake in the plant, which is owned by the French state-owned energy firm EDF.
Independent 3rd May 2021 read more »