UK approves stalled Chinese-funded nuclear power plant deal

LONDON (AP) — The British government on Thursday approved the construction of the country’s first new nuclear power plant in more than two decades, a French and Chinese-backed project that had prompted high-level fears about national security.

Hinkley Point C nuclear power station

The government said in a statement that it had decided to proceed with the 18 billion-pound ($23 billion) Hinkley Point plant in southwest England, but that future foreign-funded infrastructure projects will be subject to tighter rules.

The plant will be financed by Chinese nuclear power provider CGN and French energy group EDF.

China and France welcomed the approval, which came weeks after Prime Minister Theresa May unexpectedly stalled the deal after she took office in July, saying she wanted to review it.

The delay threw into doubt the “golden era” of ties proclaimed by Chinese President Xi Jinping during a visit to Britain last year. China’s ambassador to Britain warned that it left relations between the two countries at a crossroads.

Some British politicians and diplomats are wary of the enthusiasm the previous government of Prime Minister David Cameron showed for boosting ties with Beijing, and voiced concerns about the security implications of China holding a major stake in such key infrastructure.

READ MORE: http://bigstory.ap.org/

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