Theresa May has penned a personal letter to the Chinese president in a bid to steady relations with Beijing

 
Mark Sands
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Home Secretary Theresa May Delivers A Speech To International Police And Crime Conference
Former business secretary Vince Cable has suggested May has "a general prejudice" against Chinese investment (Source: Getty)

Prime Minister Theresa May has written to Chinese President Xi Jinping to reassure him of the UK's commitment to ties with Beijing ahead of her visit to China next month.

May will travel to China for the G20 leader summit in Hangzhou early next month, and has taken steps to ease concerns in Beijing after the UK pushed a decision on the Hinkley Point reactors to next month.

A letter from May was delivered by Asia minister Alok Sharma in his visit to China this week.

Read More: Is May set to abandon Osborne’s China dream?

Downing Street has not released the full document, describing it as personal correspondence, but it is understood the text restates the UK's commitment to Anglo-Chinese relations.

It comes after doubts have been raised over May's appetite for Chinese trading - former business secretary Vince Cable has said the Prime Minister has “a general prejudice” against investment from China.

Chinese state media has also reported that a delay to the final Hinkley decision risked “dampening hard-won mutual trust with China”.

On his visit to China, Sharma will open a new VisitBritain office in Guangzhou, as well as host meetings with energy experts in Beijing and Shenzhen.

He will also meet with BYD, the firm behind electric buses and taxis currently being trialled in London.

Ahead of the visit, Sharma said: "Britain is open for business and an attractive destination for international investors, including from China.

"Our trade is at record levels. UK exports to China have grown 57 per cent since 2010 and China is expected to be the UK’s second largest foreign investor by 2020. There are huge trade opportunities here that we want to help British business take advantage of."

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