LONDON, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese-British relationship is at a crucial historical juncture and mutual trust should be treasured even more, Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming said Tuesday.
"If Britain's openness is a condition for bilateral cooperation, then mutual trust is the very foundation on which this is built," Liu wrote in a signed article published Tuesday by the Financial Times.
Last month, the British government announced it would delay the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant program until autumn to review the proposed project in southwest England.
Liu said "clarification" is needed on several basic facts regarding the project, noting that "nuclear power is central to UK energy policy aimed at meeting the country's long-term needs."
"Hinkley Point is not the result of some whimsical idea or rushed decision; it is the considered outcome of a mutually beneficial tripartite partnership between Britain, France and China," the diplomat stressed.
Before the three parties reached the agreement, it had gone through research, verification and approval by the authorities in Britain and France as well as the European Commission, Liu added.
"There have also been extensive and thorough discussions by all involved and in the media regarding the project's cost-effectiveness, its timeline and the safety of the technology," he continued.
The ambassador also pointed to the strengths of the China General Nuclear Power Corporation.
"This is a partner with world-class technology, the necessary financial resources and rich experience in the management and operation of nuclear plants," he said.
On security, Liu wrote: "The UK has a state of the art supervision regime and legal system" and its regulatory authorities are "experienced and adequately resourced" to ensure the safety of nuclear plants.
"The three Hinkley Point partners are members of the International Atomic Energy Agency," he said. "So, the French and Chinese partners are subjecting themselves to both international and British standards."
Liu pointed out that multinational cooperation is accepted practice across the globe in building nuclear plants and many of China's nuclear reactors are built in cooperation with the U.S., Canadian, French and Russian companies.
"Thanks to the safeguards of international standards, there has never been a concern that foreign companies might control China's nuclear reactors," he explained. "The rapid progress of China's nuclear power industry is proof of the success of international cooperation."
The ambassador stressed that the Chinese-British relationship is "at a crucial historical juncture" and mutual trust should be treasured even more.
"I hope the UK will keep its door open to China and that the British government will continue to support Hinkley Point -- and come to a decision as soon as possible so that the project can proceed smoothly," he wrote.
"As long as both sides cherish what has been achieved and continue to expand and deepen our cooperation across the board, bilateral relations will maintain their strong momentum and work for the well being of both the Chinese and British people," the diplomat concluded.