Chinese premier Li Keqiang said today that China could step in to help fund and even build the controversial HS2 rail link between London and the North.
Speaking during David Cameron’s trade delegation tour of China, Li’s generous remarks apparently caught ministers by surprise, with officials in London saying that no such deal had been formally discussed.
However, last week, David Cameron said that he would welcome any Chinese involvement with the rail project. Speaking at a Chinese exhibition at the V&A, Cameron said: “I’m very interested in what’s happening in terms of high-speed rail in China.
“It seems to be an absolute high-speed revolution taking place. In terms of HS2, I very much welcome Chinese investment into British infrastructure.”
But extensive Chinese investment in British infrastructure projects could prove to be divisive as the country’s investment portfolio has developed rapidly and includes nuclear power projects.
Speaking today in the Great Hall of the People, Li said: “The two sides have agreed to push for breakthroughs and progress in the co-operation between our enterprises on nuclear power and high-speed rail.
“The Chinese side is willing to not only participate in but also purchase equities and stocks in UK power projects.”
“We have become indispensable partners for each other’s development. China and the UK must treat each other as equals.”
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