Friday, September 11, 2015

Spy Fears Drive U.S. Officials from Chinese-Owned Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

Fears of espionage have driven the U.S. government from New York’s famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which has housed presidents and other top American officials for decades but was bought last year by a Chinese firm from Hilton Worldwide.
Instead, President Barack Obama, his top aides and staff along with the sizable diplomatic contingent who trek to Manhattan every September for the annual U.N. General Assembly will work and stay at the New York Palace Hotel, the White House and State Department said.

The Associated Press first reported the impending move in June but it wasn’t formally announced until Friday, a day after the final contract was signed with the Palace.

Officials said the change is due in large part to concerns about Chinese espionage, although White House and State Department spokesmen said the decision was based on several considerations, including space, costs and security. more