China Poised to Pull Plans for U.K. Nuclear Plants. China’s ambassador to the U.K. said that Boris Johnson’s plans to seek alternatives to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in the 5G network could spoil plans for Chinese companies to build nuclear power plants and the HS2 high-speed rail network, the Sunday Times reported. Liu Xiaoming signaled that Beijing is viewing the decision over Huawei as “a litmus test of whether Britain is a true and faithful partner of China,” the newspaper reported the ambassador telling business leaders, saying that the words were “interpreted as a threat by those listening.” China General Nuclear Power Corp. plans to build its own nuclear reactor at Bradwell in Essex, according to the newspaper report. China has a minority share in nuclear power plants at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell C in Suffolk, both in partnership with EDF of France.
Bloomberg 7th June 2020 read more »
Ministers are being urged to curb Chinese involvement in Britain’s nuclear power plants as relations with Beijing sour. As Hinkley Point C is built in Somerset, state-owned China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) is being lined up as a partner in similar schemes planned for Sizewell in Suffolk, and Bradwell in Essex. The projects were part of a deal struck by former prime minister David Cameron and Chinese premier Xi Jinping in 2015, with the nations hailing a ‘golden era’ of relations. But senior Tories want Boris Johnson to reconsider as concerns grow about Beijing’s ambitions and potential grip on important infrastructure. The Prime Minister has restricted the involvement of Chinese telecoms firm Huawei in the 5G mobile network. Now China’s ambassador to the UK has fired a warning shot at the Government in return. Liu Xiaoming has privately told ministers China could cut its backing for the nuclear plants and HS2 if Huawei is sidelined in 5G plans. HSBC has also asked the Government to reconsider its position on Huawei. Chairman Mark Tucker told Johnson he feared fresh reprisals against HSBC in China if Huawei was blocked, The Sunday Telegraph reported. Johnson has faced pressure from US President Donald Trump and Tory backbenchers to ban the firm altogether.
Daily Mail 7th June 2020 read more »
Boris Johnson is preparing to announce tough laws to prevent foreign takeovers that pose a risk to national security as concern grows about the influence of China. Downing Street is pressing for legislation to make it mandatory for British companies to report attempted takeovers that could give rise to security risks, backed by the threat of criminal sanctions. Those that fail to do so or ignore the stringent conditions imposed by the government after takeovers could have their directors jailed, disqualified or be fined hundreds of thousands of pounds. The prime minister also wants “academic partnerships” and research projects to be included under the rules amid concern about links between British universities and Chinese companies.
Times 8th June 2020 read more »