Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed a deal to help fund a new nuclear power station in Britain and discussed contracts worth $46 billion that Prime Minister David Cameron is keen to clinch. Ciara Lee reports.
Day one was pomp and pageant, day two it was time for Chinese president Xi Jinping to get down to business on his UK tour. He met British prime minister David Cameron, to discuss contracts worth up to 46 billion dollars. The highlight so far - state-owned China General Nuclear Corporation will take a one-third stake in an 18 billion dollar nuclear plant in Southwest England. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "I am pleased to announce today, that we are signing a historic deal to build the Hinkley Point power station. Providing reliable, affordable energy for nearly six million homes and creating more than 25,000 jobs. ." But the prospect of China, which Western spymasters say sponsors hacking of global companies, helping to build a nuclear plant in Britain has stoked security concerns. China on Wednesday nearly doubled a bilateral currency swap agreement with, as part of Beijing's efforts to spur more use of the yuan abroad. Admiral Markets' Darren Sinden, says that while the business tie-ups are significant, the relaxing of visa restrictions for Chinese visitors could prove just as important. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) DARREN SINDEN, MARKET RESEARCH & CLIENT RELATIONS MANAGER, ADMIRAL MARKETS, SAYING: "The nuclear power deal, the deal with Aston Martin etc etc, they are all very nice for headline grabbing. But the truth is, long term, Chinese tourism into the UK is probably at least as big a beneficiary, if not larger than any of those deals." One sour note to the visit - the controversy over cheap Chinese steel imports. Xi announced China has reduced capacity. But it comes after the news that over 4,000 jobs have been thrown into jeopardy at steel plants across Britain... with many left wondering whether any action taken will be too little too late.