Today, both the BBC and Sky have reported that the China Development Bank, which is wholly owned by the Chinese Government, wants to invest in HS2 and more nuclear power stations in the UK.
Sir Gerry Grimstone, chairman of TheCityUK who has brokered a memorandum of understanding with CDB said:
“They are interested in nuclear, high speed rail and telecommunications. HS2 was one of the things they specifically mentioned [in the meeting this morning]. Knowing the finance is available is an important part of any project. This is an important development. HS2 could be an attractive investment opportunity, this is not some wishy-washy diplomatic gesture.”
Last July, former minister of railways Liu Zhijun was sentenced to death for corruption, a sentence which was suspended for two-years. In 2011 following a high speed rail crash in of Wenzhou which killed 40 people, Chinese authorities took part in a quite literal cover-up, burying the wreckage at the site.
Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin said:
“It is no surprise that the Chinese Government want to invest in HS2. In the last decade, they have spent billions on a network which has been beset with safety problems, corruption at the highest level and most tellingly, financial problems because the grossly inflated passenger forecasts used to justify its construction never turned up. With the deal for Hinckley C, the Chinese insisted on being guaranteed a minimum price for electricity, and it is certain that if they invest in HS2, they will want a similar agreement. If any deal is based on the ridiculous passenger forecasts used by HS2 Ltd, it will mean the project costs the taxpayer far more than expected. Getting Chinese investment in HS2 is nothing to be proud of, they will be getting a profit out of it, whether or not HS2 is profitable.”