Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Baroness (Helena) Kennedy, Co-Chairs of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, have written to Secretary of State Kwasi Kwarteng urging a review of the involvement of China General Nuclear Power Group in the UK’s nuclear power grid.
The full text of the letter is below.
The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1 Victoria Street
27 July 2021
Dear Secretary of State,
We, on behalf of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, welcome reports that the Government is exploring ways to exclude China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) from future UK involvement, including in the Sizewell C nuclear plant.
The overreliance of the UK’s critical national infrastructure on Chinese investment and technologies has been dangerously exposed in recent years. From telecommunications to nuclear power, firms under the direct influence of the Chinese government have been allowed to play far too large a role in providing the services which form the backbone of our economy and are vital to our national interests.
In light of this, we ask you to urgently clarify the status of CGN’s involvement in the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, where it holds a 33% stake — a larger stake than that held by CGN at the Sizewell C plant. CGN is directly owned by the Chinese state and has been subject to US government export bans for its close ties to China’s military industrial complex. Allowing CGN to continue playing a major role in the UK’s power grid grants the Chinese government a significant point of leverage and constitutes a key vulnerability at the heart of our national infrastructure.
As the Chinese government continues to perpetrate industrial scale human rights abuses in the Uyghur Region, reneges on its treaty obligations to the people of Hong Kong and aggressively projects its growing military and economic influence across the globe, the UK must work urgently to reduce its dependency on China for our national infrastructure and critical supply chains.
We look forward to your reply.
Rt Hon Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP
Baroness (Helena) Kennedy QC
Co-Chairs of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China