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UK's red carpet welcome for China's Xi

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 01:41

China's president Xi Jinping praises the UK as a ''visionary choice'' for commercial partnerships ahead of a state visit beginning on Monday. But concerns have been raised over China's potential access to sensitive British industries - like nuclear - and, as the president himself has admitted, China's own economic slowdown. Ciara Lee reports.

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It's the first visit to Britain for a Chinese president in ten years - and Xi Jinping will be getting the red carpet treatment. He and his wife will be staying at Buckingham Palace as they seek to build on a portfolio of UK investments. Beijing already invests in a number of British projects. A deal is expected to be sealed during this visit for China to invest in a 16 billion pound nuclear power project, built by French utility EDF in southwest England. Set to be one of the costliest nuclear projects ever, investors will receive a guaranteed power price of 92.50 pounds per megawatt-hour for 35 years. China has ambitions to sell its own nuclear technology overseas. But critics say this could lead to unfair competition and security concerns. And amid the pomp and circumstance are also concerns over the Chinese economy. Growth has dipped below 7 percent for the first time since the global financial crisis. IG's Alastair McCaig. (SOUNBITE) IG, ALASTAIR MCCAIG, MARKET ANALYST, SAYING: "There is a fine balance between getting financing for the UK economy while at the same time ensuring we don't have too much of the internal infrastructure of the country being controlled by external countries." China has its sights on other links too, including strengthening financial cooperation with London. The capital could become an important hub for yuan trading and offshore yuan business. The debate over how best to engage with a Communist-ruled China doesn't seem to be deterring Britain. It was the first Western nation to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank earlier this year.

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UK's red carpet welcome for China's Xi

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 01:41