Tue, Sep 22, 2015 - Page 15 News List

Britain eyes greater yuan role, Chinese investment

Reuters, BEIJING

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, left, speaks with Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai, not pictured, during the seventh China-UK strategic economic dialogue at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said yesterday Britain would like to continue helping the gradual internationalization of the yuan and that it welcomed the potential for majority Chinese investment in future nuclear projects.

Speaking at the start of an annual economic and financial dialogue, Osborne said that there was probably no nation in the West that was more open to Chinese investment than Britain.

Britain is also providing £2 billion (US$3.1 billion) of initial support for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in southwest England, a project China is backing, the finance ministry added.

The guarantee paves the way for French utility EDF, and financial partners China General Nuclear Corp (中國廣核集團) and China National Nuclear Corp (中國核工業集團公司), to give the go-ahead to the £16 billion scheme later this year, the government said.

“We very much welcome Chinese investment not just in that project, but the potential for majority Chinese investment in future nuclear projects in the United Kingdom,” Osborne said.

“There is another opportunity for Chinese investment, in high speed rail, in the north of England,” he added, without elaborating.

Despite disagreements over human rights and former British colony Hong Kong, China values Britain’s staunch defense of free trade and the lack of obstacles to investing in Britain. Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) visits Britain next month.

London has been especially keen to attract Chinese banks and encourage offshore trade in the yuan to bolster its position as the world’s main center for foreign-exchange trading.

“We want to continue to play our role as the world’s leading financial center in helping with the gradual internationalization of the renminbi [yuan] and I hope we can take further steps today to strengthen cooperation between our financial markets,” Osborne said.

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