Theresa May has written a hand-delivered letter to China’s president Xi Jinping and PM Li Keqiang, in an attempt to strengthen ties after nuclear dispute.
The Prime Minister told the Chinese leader that Britain wants to strengthen its trade and business ties with the country, after the decision to delay the £18bn Hinkley Point project.
May’s decision to review the building of Britain’s first nuclear plant, which is funded by EDF and China General Nuclear Power, came as an upsetting surprise to China, and provoked doubt to whether Chinese money was welcome in the UK after the decision to leave the European Union.
The letter comes before the Prime Minister is due to visit Hangzou, China, in September for the G20 summit.
Although Downing Street confirmed that the contents of the letter would not be published due to it being ‘private correspondence’, The Guardian reported that Chinese officials state that May’s letter stated she “looks forward to strengthening cooperation with China on trade and business and on global issues”.
China currently has the second largest economy in the world, worth $11.3 trillion.
Last month, the UK began talks with China over the possibility of a major free trade deal, which would increase export opportunities for Britain’s companies and greater inward investment from China.
In light of the withdrawal from the EU, Chancellor Phillip Hammond said to the BBC that it’s time for UK to consider “new opportunities”.