China’s interest in HS2 leaves campaigners unsettled

How the HS2 line might look
How the HS2 line might look

The Chinese government has expressed interest in investing in HS2 during a meeting with UK officials.

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, and 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.”

Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin said it was no suprise that the Chinese government wanted to invest in the high speed railway project.

He said: “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.”