China's ambassador to Britain has warned relations are at a crossroads following the new government's decision to delay a decision on the Hinkley Point nuclear project.

In an article for the Financial Times on Tuesday, Liu Xiaoming made a direct link between the future of relations and the fate of the 18-billion pound ($23 billion) project, describing ties as being at a "crucial historical juncture." The ambassador said he hoped the U.K. will "keep its door open" to China.

Prime Minister Theresa May stalled the deal earlier this year in order to review the project financed by a Chinese nuclear power provider and French energy giant EDF.

The delay threw into doubt the "golden era" of ties proclaimed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping during a visit to Britain last year.