China invited to take stakes in UK infrastructure projects

20 June 2014

The UK government has opened the way for massive Chinese investment in major infrastructure projects after signing a series of cooperation agreements.

The HS2 high speed rail project and the next generation of nuclear power stations are among assets that could end up in Chinese ownership.

Chinese premier Li Keqiang met prime minister David Cameron to sign various memoranda of understanding (MOU) to strengthen bilateral relations and trade. These included measures easing the way for Chinese money to come into Britain, a new nuclear treaty and an MOU on collaboration in the field of rail transportation.

The rail agreement paves the way for closer co-operation on areas such as rail design, engineering, construction, supply, operation and maintenance.

The new nuclear MOU allows Chinese companies to own and operate Chinese-designed nuclear power stations on UK soil, provided they meet the requirements of the UK’s independent regulator.

In return, the UK expects to see greater emphasis on access to the China market for UK companies.

Other agreements include one to strengthen cooperation in offshore wind power technology, installation standards and financing mechanisms and jointly consider establishing a training centre for offshore wind power technologies.

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