US issues warning to UK over partnership with Chinese nuclear firm

25 October 2018 (Last Updated October 25th, 2018 16:49)

US International Security and Non-Proliferation assistant secretary Christopher Ashley Ford has reportedly warned the UK against ties with state-run energy firm China General Nuclear (CGN).

US International Security and Non-Proliferation assistant secretary Christopher Ashley Ford has reportedly warned the UK against ties with state-run energy firm China General Nuclear (CGN).

The Financial Times reports that the US official claims to have proof to show the transfer of civilian nuclear technology for use in several military applications.

He has also told the publication that the proof about technology transfer has already been shared with the UK. The evidence has been gathered from both ‘open source’ and intelligence.

Ford was quoted by Financial Times as claiming: “It’s quite clear now that essentially the entirety of the Chinese nuclear industry is lashed up with military-civil fusion.

“The US has so far imposed more than $250bn in trade tariffs on Chinese goods.”

“There is a growing pattern of information of which we have become aware overtime-related to technological theft issues.”

The claims follow as the US, a key long-term ally of the UK, and China are now locked in a trade war. The US has so far imposed more than $250bn in trade tariffs on Chinese goods.

CGN is a partner with French firm EDF on the £18bn Hinkley Point C, which will be the first new nuclear power station built in the UK for a generation.

In addition, the Chinese firm is said to be involved in other potential UK nuclear projects.

Ford added: “If CGN is engaged in helping the Chinese Navy … with missiles that could presumably be pointed at western capitals, including London … It’s worth thinking about whether that’s a particularly good idea.”