Tugendhat questions using Chinese firm for HS2

15 February 2020, 15:50 | Updated: 15 February 2020, 15:56

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat has raised concerns about using a Chinese company to build the HS2 high speed rail.

Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Tom Tugendhat has told LBC the strategic reasons behind China's offer to build the HS2 need to be properly considered.

The UK is currently in preliminary talks with Beijing on whether the state run China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) should be given a role in building the high speed rail line.

Tugendhat has told LBC while the development of rail lines is needed, the motives behind China's offer need to be considered especially in the context of Beijing's expansionist investment policy.

"What we are being offered here is either the most extraordinary act of charity by the communist state or it's perhaps something more strategic, and I'm inclined to believe it's probably not the charitable option," Tugendhat said.

Tugendhat questions using Chinese firm for HS2
Tugendhat questions using Chinese firm for HS2. Picture: PA

He has also questioned the timeline offered by CRCC for the completion of the project.

The CRCC has said it can build the rail line in five years and at a lower cost than other offers.

Department of Transport officials have said no concrete commitments have been made.

Last month the UK government announced it would allow Chinese tech firm Huawei to have a limited role in the roll out of the 5G network.