BEIJING Jan 21 French Trade Minister Nicole
Bricq said on Monday a decision by her country's new government
to conduct a review of French-Chinese nuclear relations was a
regular process and was "normal".
At the end of December, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici
said that France was investigating a nuclear partnership deal
between EDF and Chinese nuclear utility China Guangdong
Nuclear Power Corporation Holding (CGNPC).
That investigation is looking into why the deal initially
excluded French nuclear reactor maker Areva and at
the extent to which French strategic interests could be at risk.
Bricq, who was in China paying the second visit to the
country by a French minister this month, said it was not
surprising for a team that has been out of power for 10 years to
undergo a "regular process to set strategy."
President Francois Hollande's socialist party won the 2012
presidential election after a decade of conservative rule.
Bricq played down concerns about Chinese irritation over the
French investigation, as Moscovici did during his visit to
Beijing two weeks ago.
"The important thing is to continue the Sino-French
cooperation," Bricq told reporters in Beijing.
Bricq said her Chinese counterpart, Commerce Minister Chen
Deming, had not expressed any undue concern about the review.
(Reporting by Lucy Hornby; Writing by Geert De Clercq; Editing
by Anthony Barker)