National security, geopolitics and genocide are not usually issues that the country’s local councils have to consider when honoring treaties.
But the deal between Wagon Council and a Chinese state-owned company is causing controversy in the town, where 5 5,135 million is planned to be converted.
BCEGU is the British branch of the Beijing Construction Engineering Group, which is controlled by the Chinese government. The local authority appointed Galleries 25 as the contractor for the project At the end of last year
As part of a joint venture partnership with Northwest property developer Cityheart, the company will lead a three-year construction program.
Most of the galleries’ shopping centers and wagon markets will be demolished to house 464 houses, a 150-room hotel and a multimedia center with cinemas, alleys and indoor mini golf bowling.
There are plans to replace the existing market hall with a more ‘contemporary’ space It has not been popular among traders – But trade is not their only concern.
Some have accused the council of working with the Chinese government.
And the council itself Accused of ‘acting like Communist China’ He then suspended a librarian who raised concerns about rehabilitation.
Wagon MP Lisa Nandy, who is Labor’s shadow foreign secretary, was also criticized for not speaking out against the agreement with the BCEGI UK.
Despite this, the MP called for a “political boycott” of the Beijing Winter Olympics this week, saying the British government must take a stand against China.
Parliament announced months later that genocide against Uighurs and others was taking place in the Xinjiang region of northwestern China.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Nandy explained why the Labor Party voted alongside Tory backbenchers to condemn China’s actions in Xinjiang.
“The position we have taken is that in the event that UN inspectors are unable to access Xinjiang, the world has a responsibility to stop genocide in the absence of further information,” he said. Understand the concept of. “
“The ball is in China’s court to allow UN inspectors to see what is happening on the ground and determine if genocide is taking place.”
The MP believes that public bodies have a responsibility to consider the implications of any agreement on human rights and national security – but they have received “assurances” from the council and the company on both fronts. Is.
Nandi has spoken in Parliament about Britain’s relations with the Uighurs through the global supply chain, the importation of cotton from forced labor, and said that ‘the people’s money is not a penny’. It should be spent on allowing oppression.
He also called for “increasingly aggressive measures” in Hong Kong, claiming that the Chinese government was “undermining” the joint declaration.
But he refused to call for a complete boycott of trade with China.
“I am realistic about the role of Chinese companies,” he said.
“Most of them either own or have some contact with the Chinese government and are deeply embedded in the global economy.
“Our literal flu tests we use here in the UK, a lot of the PPE we have and a lot of the paracetamol we use are made in China.”
Instead, she says, the cross-party consensus of Tory backbenchers, Labor and other parties is campaigning to prevent the government from allowing “preferential trade agreements”, leading China to the UK. Better access to the economy.
She acknowledges that with the help of the Chinese government’s support for the businesses she receives, she is able to “distort foreign markets” and “tilt the playing field.”
In December, just days before the announcement of the deal by Wagon Council, BCEGI UK had raised from 7.1 million from its parent company, according to its accounts, which stated that the Beijing Construction Engineering Group The ‘Ultimate Controller Party’ is a state-owned and administrative council of the State Council in the People’s Republic of China.
The Labor MP described the situation as a “perfect storm” in which local officials, who have faced a “huge shortage” of funding over the past 11 years, are forced to look for companies that can afford it. Can provide the best deal for
“At the same time,” he said, “you have found Chinese companies that are able to compete more easily on a playing field that is not up to par.”
BCEGU UK is already involved in a number of projects around the Northwest Bolton’s Crompton Place Shopping Center redeveloped, Airport City Project in Manchester And Middlewood locks in Salford.
The company says it pays taxes and invests all its profits here in the UK.
Nandi, who met with representatives of BCEGI UK, said the company had assured him that it had a “unilateral” financial relationship with the Chinese state.
He has also received assurances from the council that the construction company will not have access to the intelligence database.
And MPs are pushing for guarantees that a full council meeting will give all councilors a chance to discuss rehabilitation plans – but say a local inquiry alone is enough to demand government action. do not have.
She says it is a national issue that needs to be addressed at the national level. And for Wagon, they are satisfied with the assurances they have received so far.
“If BCEGI UK were reimbursing its parent company, which would then be handed over to the Chinese government, I would assure the council that they would find a way to write to the agreement. What he didn’t take. Keep it as a condition for handing over the money. “
The Wagon MP says the biggest issue his constituency has raised about redevelopment is the transfer of public space to private companies.
However, the Wagon Council has confirmed that neither BCEGI UK nor City Hart Town will own any land or have an administrative role.
Construction Director Aaron Adams, who is leading the gallery project for BCEGIU, said the company is excited to work with Wagon Council.
“We are here as a selected trusted construction partner from Wagon Council and City Heart and our focus is on providing an exceptional service as part of the team set up to deliver the project. There will be significant sustainable benefits for Wagon and its people. “
The company says it will use the local supply chain and employ local workers, which will benefit regional economies and help fuel growth and employment.
Still, some people are concerned about the contents of the redevelopment project, highlighting the cost of the project, which has increased since the first announcement.
A protest is scheduled for Friday (July 16th) against the demolition.
Paul Madden, an independent councilor who organized the protest, said there was “anger” and “frustration” among those who had “big concerns” about the BCEGI.
“But even if it was a better company to build, it’s still a bad development.”
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