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At first glance, it seems an almost inexplicable paradox. A right-wing British government has invited companies controlled by the Chinese Communist Party—and in one case, the Chinese military—into the heart of the UK's strategically vital energy infrastructure. The nuclear deal between Britain and China goes against the advice of the security services, the military and the US government.
So to explain this paradox, we must look carefully at another major deal in the British government’s flirtation with President Xi Jinping: the inter-penetration of the two countries' financial services.
George Osborne addressed the Conservative party conference on Monday 5, October, fresh from a sales trip to Beijing. His efforts to drive more trade between the two nations saw Chinese state-owned companies invited to participate in the development of nuclear generating plants in Britain. They will have the chance to work with French state-owned company, EDF at Hinkley Point, Somerset and will be the sole operators at Bradwell, Essex. The move has already attracted doubts but there are other vital issues that have yet to be aired. These can be crystallised into five clear questions that Osborne and his government must answer.