London: United Kingdom has removed Chinese nuclear firm CGN from the construction of its Sizewell C nuclear power station, Gulf Times reported. The announcement comes a day after UK PM Rishi Sunak announced that the “golden era” of UK-China relations was “over.”
Sunak stressed that China posed a “systemic challenge” to Britain’s interests and values. The construction of Sizewell C nuclear power station will be built with French partner EDF. The UK is removing Chinese nuclear firm CGN’s 20 per cent stake and has planned to invest £700 million in the project. Sizewell C, which is under construction on the Suffolk coast in Eastern England will power around six million homes.
The Sizewell decision has raised doubts about CGN’s role in the construction of Hinkley Point in the UK’s first new nuclear power plant in more than 20 years, Gulf Times reported. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in a statement said, “The UK government’s investment in Sizewell C will support the project’s continued development,” as per the news report.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) further said, “The investment also allows for China General Nuclear’s exit from the project, including buy-out costs, any tax due and commercial arrangements.”
Britain has said that Sizewell will deliver cleaner energy than fossil fuels and create thousands of jobs for the local area and national economy.
According to BEIS, the government’s £700 million stake in Sizewell C is positioned for Britain’s energy sovereignty as it intends to create the new plant, as per the Gulf Times report. It further said that the project is expected to create 10,000 highly skilled jobs and provide reliable, low-carbon and power to six million homes for more than five decades.
Earlier on November 28, Sunak asserted that the “golden era” between Britain and China is “now over.” In his address at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at London’s Guildhall, Sunak stressed that it is time to evolve the approach towards China as the country is posing a systemic challenge to UK’s values and interests.
“We also need to evolve our approach to China. Let’s be clear, the so-called ‘golden era’ is over,” Sunak said.
“We recognise China poses a systemic challenge to our values and interests,” he added.
Rishi Sunak further said, “Instead of listening to their people’s protests, the Chinese government has chosen to crack down further.”
He emphasised that the media and UK’s parliamentarians must be able to highlight the issues without sanctions, including abuses in Xinjiang and curtailment of freedom in Hong Kong.