China, UK sign­ing land­mark deals

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By WU JIAO and ZHANG CHUANYAN in Lon­don

Bei­jing and Lon­don se­cured deals worth about 40 bil­lion pounds ($62 bil­lion) on Wed­nes­day dur­ing Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s first state visit to the UK.

Ac­cord­ing to the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment, the cash gen­er­ated by the new deals will help to cre­ate 3,900 jobs across the UK.

The most eye-catch­ing is an agree­ment for China to partly fi­nance a UK nu­clear power plant, which Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron hailed as “his­toric”. It is also the first ma­jor Chi­nese in­vest­ment in a Western nu­clear fa­cil­ity.

Cameron said Bri­tain had also sealed oil and gas deals with China worth more than 12 bil­lion pounds, in­clud­ing with BP PLC. It also landed a 2.6 bil­lion pound deal to make new cruise ships, ac­cord­ing to a Reuters re­port.

Speak­ing at the UK-China Busi­ness Sum­mit af­ter his meet­ing with Xi, Cameron said the UK and China will sup­port each other in their am­bi­tious de­vel­op­ment plans and em­power each other to en­sure pros­per­ity.

He said Bri­tain will be China’s best part­ner in the West, and that is “in our na­tional in­ter­ests”.

Xi said China will con­tinue to en­cour­age more Chi­nese com­pa­nies to in­vest in the UK, while wel­com­ing UK firms to come and do busi­ness in China.

As con­firmed by Xi and Cameron dur­ing their me­dia brief­ing, China’s Gen­eral Nu­clear Corp will take a one-third stake in the planned $28 bil­lion Hink­ley Point nu­clear plant owned by France’s EDF.

The power gen­er­ated at Hink­ley Point is ex­pected to come on­stream in 2025. As the largest in­ward in­vest­ment ever in the UK, the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment said it will gen­er­ate enough en­ergy to power 6 mil­lion homes.

CGN will also take a two-thirds stake in the Brad­well nu­clear plant east of Lon­don, where it plans to build a Chi­nese-de­signed re­ac­tor, which will be China’s first show­case for its nu­clear tech­nol­ogy.

The com­pany will also take a one-fifth stake in a project for Areva-de­signed re­ac­tors at the Sizewell plant in east­ern England.

Other co­op­er­a­tion ini­tia­tives in­clude a deal with As­ton Martin and China Eq­uity to pro­duce a zero-emis­sions car.

Lon­don Taxi Com­pany, owned by the Chi­nese com­pany Geely, has also an­nounced fur­ther in­vest­ment to launch a new gen­er­a­tion of ze­roe­mis­sions black cabs.

“We think there are re­ally good op­por­tu­ni­ties for Bri­tish and Chi­nese com­pa­nies to co­op­er­ate in many sec­tors, such as e-com­merce, en­ergy, resources, financial resources, ser­vices, health­care and in­fras­truc­ture,” Stephen Phillips, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the China-Bri­tain Busi­ness Coun­cil, told China Daily.

“The UK needs in­fras­truc­ture — new en­ergy. So if Chi­nese in­vest­ment is mak­ing that hap­pen sooner than it would hap­pen — if the in­vest­ment is there — that will ob­vi­ously be pos­i­tive for the UK econ­omy,” Phillips said.

REUTERS

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron at­tend a joint press con­fer­ence at 10 Down­ing Street, Lon­don, on Wed­nes­day.

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