Our Readers' Opinions
November 3, 2015
Chinese investment in the UK

It must have come as a surprise to some, not aware of the extent to which economic interests override political and ideological ones, to see the Chinese President being wined and dined at the highest levels during his recent state visit to the United Kingdom. This included the President accompanying the Queen of the UK in her golden coach.{{more}}

For the record, it is useful to note that, according to the English newspaper the Daily Mail, August 26, 2015, China has invested more than 19 billion pounds (over EC$ 80 billion) in the UK over the past 10 years. Among Chinese investments, the paper listed the following:

BARCLAYS BANK – a 1.5 per cent stake valued at around 640 million pounds.

British Petroleum (BP) – a 2.2 per cent stake, valued at around 1.4 billion pounds.

DIAGEO, famous for alcoholic brands such as Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Bailey’s – a 1.6 per cent stake at a value of 670 million pounds.

THAMES WATER – a 9 per cent stake with a 2012 value of 500 million pounds.

HEATHROW AIRPORT, Britain’s largest – a 10 per cent Chinese ownership costing 450 million pounds in 2009.

WEETABIX cereals – Chinese majority stake valued at 1.3 billion pounds.

The Chinese also own or have significant stake in prestigious “British” interests such as Savile Row tailors, the clothing empire House of Fraser, the O2 mobile phone network, the Hinckley Point power plant and valuable chunks of the London property market on which Chinese investors spent 2.2 billion pounds last year.

No wonder the Chinese President was treated so royally!