24 July 2019

Britons alarmed by china's growing investment

KONFRONTASI - The visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to UK has been overshadowed by concerns about China’s growing investment in key sectors of the British economy.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's trip aims to cement deals giving Britain a vast new pool of investment and China greater access to European markets. But as the Chinese leader was welcomed as an honored guest at Buckingham Palace and the UK Parliament, critics warned that Britain was taking a risk by courting Beijing so aggressively.

Some British politicians, businessmen and union members are alarmed by growing Chinese competition in areas such as UK’s steel production.

Prime Minister David Cameron is under pressure to raise the issue of China selling steel at a loss on world markets to secure its own market share, which has helped push British steelmakers into a crisis.

Thousands of UK steel layoffs were announced Tuesday, the first full day of Xi's four-day visit.

Britain's Tory has been courting China for years. When Xi's predecessor, Hu Jintao, paid a state visit to Britain in 2005, the countries announced $1.3 billion in trade deals.  Now, Britain said the two nations would sign 30 billion pounds ($46 billion) in business agreements.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, a champion of closer ties, has said he wants China to be Britain's biggest trading partner after the United States by 2025.[ptv]

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