China's Investment in British Nuclear Power Plant Worries British Military

China's Investment in British Nuclear Power Plant Worries British Military
明年5月即將舉行大選|作者攝於倫敦

What you need to know

A British national defense official says the military is "very worried" about China's participation in the construction of nuclear power plants, and that the Chinese might take the chance to hack the computer system and add traps or loopholes to take control over the nuclear power plants.

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Chinese President Xi Jin-ping will arrive in the UK on October 19 for a five-day visit and the two nations are expected to sign a nuclear power plant investment contract for around NT$ 1.2 trillion (approximately US$ 36.9 trillion). British officials worry the Chinese government will interfere in the British infrastructure and might endanger national security. Criticism has been made of the government for being too eager for funds and not considering potential threats.

UDN reports, the Chinese has invested in nuclear power plants such as Hinkley Point and Seth Virgin. The Hinkley Point nuclear power plant is the British branch of the French energy giant EDF. It is also the first nuclear power plant built in the UK in the last 20 years and the first one in Europe ever since the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

China’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiao-ming, reveals the Hinkely Point nuclear power plant agreement will be invested by two Chinese state nuclear groups, China National Nuclear Corporation and the China General Nuclear Power Group. The Chinese will take 30% to 40% of stake and the agreement might be carried out during Xi’s visit in Britain.

Apple Daily reports, an anonymous British national security official said the British Ministry of Finance has dominated the agreement and, despite much opposition, takes China as an opportunity. The official is concerned that the national security department takes China as a threat and that people dealing with money do things differently than those working in national security.

Another British national defense official says the military is “very worried" about China’s participation in the construction of nuclear power plants, and that the Chinese might take the chance to hack the computer system and add traps or loopholes to take control over the nuclear power plants. In this regard, Amber Rudd, the British energy secretary, clarifies, “We have such tough standards and regulations they can be confident that they are safe.”

CNA reports, Lisa Nandy, the Shadow energy secretary, says the investment could be “not just about putting our energy security, but actually putting our national security potentially at risk as well.” Also, Prime Minster Cameron must explain to the public regarding this issue and promise to ease people’s doubts and fears about the agreement.

CNA reports, British ambassador to China, Barbara Woodward, held a press conference in Beijing on October 16 and said President Xi will receive a high standard of hospitality during his visit in the UK. Xi will attend a series of activities hosted by the Queen and will be invited to Prime Minister Cameron’s private villa in the countryside, showing the close relationship between the two countries and their leaders.

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang

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