The UK welcomes Chinese Investment, so long as it is in non-strategic areas, and would not “pitchfork” away Chinese investments despite divisions over issues in Hong Kong.
This is a cautious approach that comes down to the UK’s “critical national structure”, as stated by Boris Johnson ahead of the Global Investment Summit in London on 19 October.
The Prime Minister also described China as a “gigantic” part of UK’s economic life – an occurrence that will be in place “for a long time”, showing a willingness to deal more expansively with China in the aftermath of Brexit.
This growth can be shown in the UK’s imports from China, having seen an increase of nearly 40 percent since last year, amounting to 67.6 billion yuan ($93.5 million) as of June, which makes China the third-largest trading partner of the UK.
The British government has been vocal about welcoming Chinese firms to invest in non-strategic part of the country’s economy, but Mr. Johnson refused to give more details as to where he would draw the line:
“I’m not going to tell you that the UK is going to pitchfork away every overture from China,” said Johnson in an interview for Bloomberg, “you’d have to look at what you are defining as strategic.”
The relationship between China and the UK has faced challenges following Britain’s decision to remove Huawei from its 5G communications network and the ongoing issues on Hong Kong. But the Prime Minister said he is “far from Sinophobe, insisting he is still “a fan of China” leaving room for economic ties between the two countries but in specific areas.
The current legislations on foreign investment into the UK in terms of critical national infrastructure has been introduced by the UK government out of national security concerns.
Last month, it is reported that the UK ministers were seeking to exclude the involvement of China General Nuclear in the 20-billion-pound ($20.78 billion) nuclear power plant Sizewell C in Suffolk.