China plans to invest billions of pounds in British infrastructure, including the £50bn HS2 rail project, it was revealed at the start of David Cameron’s trade visit to the Asian powerhouse.
The investment offer made by China’s premier, Li Keqiang, which could also see more funding for British new nuclear projects, marks a triumph for the Prime Minister who wants to increase the UK’s economic, trade and diplomatic ties with Asia’s largest economy.
The Government wants to encourage China to invest in the UK as it seeks to broaden its funding options for strategic transport and energy projects.
“On infrastructure, the two sides have agreed to push for breakthroughs and progress in co-operation on our enterprises in nuclear power and high-speed railway,” said Mr Li. “The Chinese side is willing to not only participate but also purchase equities and stocks in UK nuclear power projects, and the UK is open to this idea.”
In a further sign of the growing relationship with Beijing, Mr Cameron also put his weight behind a free-trade agreement between the European Union and China on Monday that could potentially help British companies win a greater share of business in one of the world’s largest markets and provide a £1.8bn boost to the UK economy.