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UK’s Nuclear Future in Doubt amid Diplomatic Fallout over Huawai.

Telegraph 14th June 2020,  UK’s Nuclear Future in Doubt amid Diplomatic Fallout over Huawai. Boris Johnson’s now faces a test of his diplomatic and political skills against the Chinese state. Eyeing China’s crackdown on Hong Kong protesters, seeking to define the UK’s place in the world post-Brexit, and shaken by the pandemic, the UK is hardening its stance on China – and the communist superpower is responding in kind.

Expectations that the UK will reduce Chinese company Huawei’s role in the UK’s 5G network have been met with veiled threats that Chinese companies might pull out of building UK nuclear power plants and other infrastructure – ratcheting up tensions with potentially profound political and economic consequences.

Chinese direct investment in the UK reached almost £50bn between 2000 and 2018, while in
2018 the UK sold £22.6bn worth of goods to China and bought £44.7bn of Chinese goods. It was less than five years ago that David Cameron and Chinese president Xi Jinping popped into the Plough in Cadsden, Bucks, to toast a “golden era” of friendship between the two nations over pints
of IPA and fish and chips.

The visit took place just two days after the Chinese nuclear power giant China General Nuclear and France’s EDF agreed to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset, as part of about £40bn in business deals signed between the UK and China. Hinkley

Point C is now taking shape next to the Bristol Channel, but plans for a second plant with EDF, Sizewell C, and CGN’s own plant, Bradwell B inEssex, as well as other infrastructure investment now appear to be at risk if the UK ousts Huawei.

Plenty argue that would be no bad thing. China’s involvement in the UK’s nuclear power plants has long been controversial due to security concerns, while some experts also argue that large nuclear power plants have had their day as a source of energy. “The energy landscape has changed,” argues Paul Dorfman, of the UCL Energy Institute,
given that offshore wind power and other renewable technologies are getting much cheaper and more effective…….  https://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-sunday-telegraph-money-business/20200614/281698321989436

June 16, 2020 - Posted by | politics international, UK

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