Over this past weekend, CBS host Bob Schieffer reviewed the week in news, including:
“[I]t was another awful week. … The stock market had a bad week and China finally passed United States as the world’s largest economy. Not surprising, then, that a Chinese company bought the Waldorf Astoria hotel, the iconic New York landmark where Henry Kissinger entertained Chinese officials when the two countries first resumed talking back in the seventies. Now the Chinese own it.”
But the red flag of China going up at the iconic Waldorf Astoria is raising other red flags for the United States government. Not on the economic front, but the foreign security front.
Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group is putting up $1.95 billion for the hotel, while the flag will remain with Hilton Worldwide for its operations (100 year contract). The key, however, is in the guests and even residents of the landmark hotel in New York City, including:
– U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power (resident).
– President Barack Obama (routine guest).
– Major heads of state and diplomats, many for their attendance to the United Nations.
Particular concerns seem to focus on the upcoming “major renovation” to the hotel and what it may mean for security.
Legitimate concerns by the State Department and CIA over possible Chinese eavesdropping?
Or unwarranted paranoia?