A series of deals, including Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa's acquisition of U.K. mobile telecom operator O2 from Telefónica for $15.3 billion, were announced. Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, who made a high-profile visit last October. The trip, which included meeting the Queen and visiting Manchester City's football ground, seemed to herald a newly close ties between the two countries.
After new Prime Minister Theresa May came to power last month, the relationship looked set to continue, with Philip Hammond, George Osborne's replacement at the Treasury, announcing just last week that he had begun discussions with China on an new free trade deal. The agreement, if it went ahead, could be one of the country's biggest post-Brexit trade deals, and the first time China struck such a deal with a European country.
However, now, the Hinkley Point decision "adds uncertainties to the "Golden Era" of China-UK ties," according to a commentary published under the byline Tian Dongdong on Xinhua, the official press voice of the Chinese government, Monday.
Jim O'Neill, the former Goldman Sachs economist who is best known for coining the term BRICS and played a key part in strengthening ties with China as a Treasury minister, was reported by the Financial Times to be considering resigning over the Hinkley Point delay.
There have long been concerns about the cost of the electricity generated through the deal - £92.50 per megawatt hour of electricity produced, compared to £48 per megawatt hour last year. EDF, the French energy company which was another investor in the project, saw its shares soar after the deal was delayed.