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    UK Ex-Envoy Forecasts New Contracts During Xi's 'Golden Age' Visit

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    Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first visit to the United Kingdom in a decade ushers in a "golden age" of bilateral relations with a number of anticipated contracts, former British ambassador to Russia told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – "There’s lots of enthusiasm in government to build up the relationship and to have a close and strong relationship with China," Tony Brenton said, evoking Prime Minister David Cameron calling the visit a "new golden age."

    Brenton, who served as Britain’s envoy to Moscow in 2004-2008 and is an adviser to Lloyd’s insurance market, said he expected "big announcements" during Xi’s visit four-day stay.

    "The City, a major financial center, wants to become a center for trading in the Renminbi [Chinese official currency colloquially known as the yuan] in Europe and in the world," Brenton said.

    The ex-diplomat highlighted Chinese investment in the British nuclear industry, which raised concerns among experts last week.

    Defense and security officials have offered a contrast with their cautious view of a possible contract for two Chinese companies to purchase stakes in a British nuclear power station in southwest England.

    China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) are said to be vying to finalize a deal to buy up to 40 percent of Hinkley Point’s stake, valued at $24.23 billion during Xi’s October 20-23 visit to Britain.

    China is boosting efforts to internationalize its currency in an effort to join the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket.

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    David Cameron, Tony Brenton, Xi Jinping, China, Britain
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