TAISHAN, China, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Chinese investment in the British nuclear energy sector is a means to strengthen bilateral ties, the British energy secretary said Thursday.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said while leading a delegation to China he was ready to give Chinese companies a stake in his country's nuclear power sector.
"It is an important potential part of the government's plan for developing the next generation of nuclear power in Britain," he said in a statement Thursday.
He made the announcement from the Taishan nuclear facility in southern China. Taishan is part of a joint collaboration between China General Nuclear Power Co. and French energy company EDF.
London this week said it was close to striking a deal with EDF for nuclear power work on the western British coast.
Osborne said Chinese companies would be able to take an initial minority stake in nuclear energy projects at home.
"This is an exciting development, strengthening our relationship with China in a way that will benefit both countries," British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey said. "Investment from Chinese companies in the U.K. electricity market is welcome, providing they can meet our stringent regulatory and safety requirements."