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Docklands project is latest Chinese investment as May woos Beijing

Docklands project is latest Chinese investment as May woos Beijing

Prime minister Theresa May has promised a new "golden era" of co-operation between Britain and China, which could herald more investment in infrastructure and other big construction projects in the UK.

Mrs May received Chinese vice-premier Ma Kai to Downing Street as he led a delegation coming to London for trade talks. Mr Kai's visit will include discussions with Philip Hammond over future economic and trade partnerships across a range of areas.

The talks will be crucial following Mrs May's prevarication over the Hinkley C nuclear power plant project, amid concerns that China might have too much leverage over Britain's energy security.  

She had ordered a review of the project after taking office, just as French electricity firm EDF had announced it was ready to go ahead with its £18 billion investment in the scheme.

However, she expressed enthusiasm about what the future may hold, commenting: "As we take the next step in this golden era of relations between the UK and China, I am excited about the opportunities for expanding trade and investment between our two countries."

Among those investments will be the involvement of Chinese developer ABP and contractor CITIC Construction in the first phase of the London Royal Albert Docks project, with £200 million of Chinese money being spent on the project. This will be announced today.

Other major undertakings already linked to Chinese investment include a range of projects over several decades in Sheffield, which the city council secured earlier this year comma and a number of property developments in London, plus various projects in Greater Manchester, like the Airport City development, new housing projects in east Manchester and the Middlewood Locks scheme in Salford.

The importance of the UK to China may be increased if the United States restricts trade with the world's most populous nation through higher tariffs, as planned by president-elect Donald Trump.

Image: iStock


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