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UNITE HERE Calls on Ministers to Investigate China Poly Group

November 13, 2018

EDMONTON, Alberta--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 13, 2018--UNITE HERE, the hotel workers’ union, has sent a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister for International Trade Diversification calling for an investigation into the North American expansion plans of military-civilian conglomerate China Poly Group.

The letter describes how Poly Group maintains diverse business interests under one umbrella, including defense and infrastructure. Subsidiary Poly Technologies is a weapons manufacturer and dealer which has been repeatedly sanctioned by the United States. Poly companies have also participated in building out infrastructure related to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Other Poly subsidiaries, however, include a fine art auction house and performing arts exhibitions. Poly operates a North American headquarters in Vancouver, where it operates the Poly Culture Art Center. Chairman Xu Niansha has explicitly connected Poly’s cultural operations with Chinese national priorities, stating that the export of cultural goods helps enhance China’s soft power. Poly has indicated its interest in expanding operations across North America.

“Does Canada recognize that the operators of a Vancouver art gallery are part of the same corporate family as a sanctioned arms dealer?” asked Ian Robb, Canadian Director of UNITE HERE. “There are serious national security concerns that the government ought to address.”

Examples of Poly’s cultural businesses include Poly Culture North America, which operates a fine art gallery in Vancouver. Poly Theater co-produced an opera with the San Francisco Opera Company, and the company is in talks to purchase the piano manufacturer Steinway.

“Poly Group’s expansion plans in Canada are concerning in light of its military business,” said Robb. “An investigation that examines Poly’s expansion plans for Canada and the US is an urgently-needed measure.”

The text of the letter is available on a union website, www.MarriottChinaObserver.org.

About UNITE HERE

UNITE HERE represents 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada including 17,000 employed by Marriott International. MarriottChinaObserver.org is maintained by the UNITE HERE Research Department.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181113005103/en/

CONTACT: UNITE HERE

Jeff Nelson, +1-617-480-2585

jnelson@unitehere.org

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES ASIA PACIFIC NORTH AMERICA CANADA CHINA CALIFORNIA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: TRAVEL LODGING MANUFACTURING OTHER MANUFACTURING DEFENSE OTHER DEFENSE

SOURCE: UNITE HERE

Copyright Business Wire 2018.

PUB: 11/13/2018 08:50 AM/DISC: 11/13/2018 08:50 AM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181113005103/en

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