UNITE HERE has sent a letter to members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs outlining potential national security concerns regarding the company China Poly Group. The letter, sent to the subcommittees with jurisdiction over China, is available on this website.
Poly Group’s most well-known subsidiary, Poly Technologies, has been engaged for decades in weapons manufacturing and trading. At the same time, other Poly subsidiaries deal in real estate, cultural exchanges, and art exhibitions. The New York Times glossed the wide-ranging nature of Poly’s businesses in a description of Poly’s Beijing office tower, “where visitors can shop for a painting on the third floor or a missile system on the 27th.”[i]
Poly’s ability to combine these diverse ventures into one enterprise is concerning in light of the company’s stated ambitions to expand in the United States and Canada. The letter urges the CECC to investigate the connections between Poly’s “hard power” (military) and “soft power” (civilian) sides and determine what, if any, national security issues may arise.
UNITE HERE learned about Poly’s activities after discovering that Poly Realty, a subsidiary of Poly Group, owned a Marriott-branded hotel in China, and had four Marriott hotels in development.
Read the letter here.
[i] Graham Bowley and David Barboza, “China’s Art Market Powerhouse Complicates Reform Efforts,” New York Times (Chinese edition), 12/17/13. https://cn.nytimes.com/art/20131217/t17poly/en-us/.