Downing Street has played down concerns that Chinese investment in the UK's nuclear power industry could pose a threat to the country’s national security, stressing that safety issues were kept under review at all times.

Fears from senior military and intelligence figures, who have warned Ministers that plans to allow China to take a stake in sensitive national infrastructure could pose a security risk, have been raised ahead of next week’s state visit by the communist regime’s leader Xi Jinping.

The UK will roll out the red carpet for the Chinese President, who along with his wife Peng Liyuan, will stay as the Queen's guest at Buckingham Palace.

They will spend three days in London where the Chinese leader will hold talks with David Cameron in No 10 before joining him for dinner at Chequers. A fourth and final day will be spent carrying out engagements in Manchester.

In a sign of the growing trade and investment links between the UK and China, an announcement on Chinese backing for the new nuclear power station being built by EDF at Hinkley Point, Somerset, could be made during Mr Xi's visit.

Chancellor George Osborne has already offered a £2 billion UK Government guarantee to help secure funding for the Hinkley Point C plant and indicated that the next step may be a Chinese-designed, Chinese-built nuclear plant at Bradwell in Essex.

One of the Chinese backers is the China National Nuclear Corporation, a state-owned body, which helped to develop the country's nuclear weapons.

However, an intelligence source said: "There is a big division between the money men and the security side. The Treasury is in the lead and it isn't listening to anyone; they see China as an opportunity but we see the threat."

When asked if the Prime Minister was worried about any security threat, his spokesman said: “We have the Officer for Nuclear Regulation, which is our independent nuclear regulator, which has very strict regulations in place in terms of how nuclear plants are operated and the security around them and that has done all the due diligence and is content with things as they stand. But we will continue to ensure that all security and other regulations are followed at all times.”

When it was pointed out that MI5 had claimed the Chinese government had launched cyberattacks on Britain, the spokesman referred to a “new era in our engagement with China” and that the UK Government was working with Beijing on a number of issues and it would continue to do so.

When it was why Mr Cameron considered Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a threat to national security but not a foreign Communist regime, he repeated how Whitehall took security very seriously and that the regulator would keep all things under review at all times. “We would only pursue this course of action if we felt it was the right thing to do,” insisted the spokesman.

Earlier, Amber Rudd, the Energy Secretary, noted: "The Chinese can come and engage with us but it is our regulations, our high standards that they will have to live up to."

The state visit is likely to be used by protesters to shine a spotlight on China's human rights record and security will be tight as the Chinese leader and members of the Royal Family carry out engagements.

Protesters from the Free Tibet group, as well as those supporting persecuted Uighur Muslims, are planning demonstrations, while Jeremy Corbyn is expected to raise concerns over human rights abuses when he calls on the President at the palace. The Labour leader is also due to attend the state banquet.

Security will be tight during Mr Xi's visit as the Chinese leader and members of the Royal Family carry out their engagements.

Last month, the head of MI5 warned that the level of terrorist plotting against Britain was at its highest for nearly four decades.

Mr Xi arrives on Monday but the state visit officially begins on Tuesday when he receives a ceremonial welcome in central London.

He will be greeted at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and escorted to Horse Guards Parade before taking a state carriage procession back to Buckingham Palace for lunch.

Charles will miss the state banquet hosted by the Queen in the evening, but will hold one-to-one talks with Mr Xi when he invites him to tea at Clarence House in the afternoon.

The Prince, who is a supporter of the Dalai Lama, has had a difficult relationship with China's leadership in the past, but a royal source stressed that he was heavily involved in this visit and using the opportunity to have a personal dialogue with Mr Xi rather than meeting him with a cast of thousands.

While Charles will not be at the banquet, the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge are widely anticipated to be attending the evening affair - the couple's first state banquet in the UK - but the guest-list is yet to be officially confirmed.

Mr Corbyn’s office have made clear the Leader of the Opposition will be among the guests although it has refused to confirm whether or not he will follow the recommended dress code of white tie and tails.

Prince William will call on the President at the palace ahead of the banquet and the Duke and Duchess will join Mr Xi at a UK Creative Industries event in London on Wednesday.

The Duke visited Beijing earlier this year and is set to record a speech on illegal wildlife trade on the eve of the visit which will be later broadcast on Chinese television.

Officials are particularly keen to ensure the trip goes well, with Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne keen to deepen Britain's ties with the world's second-largest economy.

UK-China relations were briefly thrust into the deep-freeze after Mr Cameron's meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2012 prompted outrage in Beijing.

But Mr Osborne has just returned from a charm offensive in China designed to open up new markets for British companies and secure billions of pounds of investment in projects such as HS2 and the so-called Northern Powerhouse.