British PM Defends Delay in China-Backed Nuclear Plant

British PM Defends Delay in China-Backed Nuclear PlantBritish PM Defends Delay in China-Backed Nuclear Plant

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday defended her decision to delay a partly China-funded nuclear power deal, despite it causing diplomatic tension with China as she landed in the country to attend a G20 summit.

In July, May upset Chinese officials by delaying a $24 billion project that would see French firm EDF build Britain's first new nuclear power plant in decades with the help of $8 billion from China, Reuters reported.

May is reportedly concerned about possible national security risks of allowing China to invest in nuclear projects, with the EDF plant being seen as a gateway to a deal that would pave the way for Chinese involvement in two other nuclear plants.

The decision caught investors by surprise and has cast doubt over whether May, who took power in July following Britain's vote to leave the European Union, will continue to court China as a major source of infrastructure investment.

"This is the way I operate," May told reporters on board her official plane on the way to Hangzhou for the summit, which will include a one-to-one with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The summit is May's first visit to China.

"I don't just come in and say 'I'm going to take a decision'; I actually look at the evidence, weigh up that evidence, take the advice and consider that and come to my decision," she said.