London/Beijing: – The United Kingdom, which has been pushing China on issues such as the South China Sea, Hongkong, Uyghurs and Huawei, has signalled another jolt to the Chinese communist regime. Movements have begun in British political circles to rule out a possible Chinese investment in the United Kingdom’s nuclear program. Senior British MPs have said that a significant share of sensitive energy systems of the United Kingdom cannot be risked with countries that do not adhere to British values.
The United Kingdom and China signed an agreement in 2015 regarding a nuclear project. According to that, China will invest heavily in nuclear projects, in Suffolk and Essex, in the United Kingdom. The investment is said to be in the billions of dollars. China is developing the project in Essex. The Chinese company is partnering with a French company in the project at Suffolk. Currently, Chinese investment in both projects has not been approved by the British authorities.
Last month, the Chinese foreign ministry had issued a warning over this issue. Zhao Lijian, the spokesman of that ministry, said that the United Kingdom needs to provide an open and free environment for Chinese companies to trade. It would be in both countries’ interest to maintain good cooperation for the benefit of each other. In response, the British government said that decisions regarding nuclear power projects would be made in the interests of national security and interests.
But in reality, the United Kingdom is preparing to reject Chinese investment in both nuclear projects. The United States has blacklisted ‘China General Nuclear’, investing in the United Kingdom. British sources claimed that the British government is unlikely to accept Chinese investment because of this issue and the cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom on the other Chinese problems.
Earlier, the United Kingdom had refused investment from the company after the United States insisted on its position on Huawei. The United Kingdom has also taken aggressive steps against China over the Coronavirus pandemic, Hongkong, South China Sea and the Uyghurs. There are indications that investments in nuclear energy will be the next step.
The United Kingdom is not the first European country to signal to reject Chinese investment in nuclear power projects. Earlier, other European countries also have rejected Chinese companies. Last year, Romania announced that it had broken its agreement with China over its Sernavoda nuclear power plant. It had been revealed that the Romanian decision was prompted by US pressure. Subsequently, the European country, the Czech Republic, also announced the expulsion of Chinese ‘China General Nuclear’ from the tender process for the Dukovani project. The Czech government had forwarded the reason of national security for this.