China Agrees Deal for Major Stake in U.K. Nuclear Power Plant

Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to finalize a deal for China to cover 30 percent of the cost of a new nuclear power station in western England, according to the Financial Times. The proposed total cost is 24 billion pounds ($37 billion.)

The plant, which could be completed by 2025, will be based at Hinkley Point in Somerset, and could be the most expensive ever built, according to the Guardian newspaper. The Chinese investors—reportedly two state-owned companies—will take a one-third stake in the plant, which will be built by French energy company EDF.

The deal for China’s investment in the plant was secured by British Chancellor George Osborne on his trade visit to China last month and will be confirmed by the Chinese President on the second day of his state visit to the U.K.

Jinping’s itinerary also includes a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss global security issues, climate change and poverty. In a move to charm the Chinese leader, and to further stimulate tourism in the U.K., Cameron has offered cheaper visas for Chinese tourists. The price of a two-year visa will be slashed from 384 pounds (approximately $590) to 84 pounds ($130.)

Jinping will also attend events at London’s Lancaster House, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Imperial College London with Osborne and the Duke of York to announce closer research ties between London and Beijing.

Trade deals amounting to 30 billion pounds ($46 billion) will be discussed and possibly completed during the Chinese leader’s four-day visit, according to reports. The Chinese leader will head from his face-to-face meeting with Cameron for a business summit at Mansion House where some of the deals may be finalized.

On the first day of his visit, Jinping attended a state banquet hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. He said in Mandarin: “As China-UK comprehensive strategic partnership enters the second decade this year, let us seize the opportunity and work together to usher in an even brighter future for China-UK relationship.”

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