CHINA Deal of US consulate in HK's property proceeds after central govt's approval


Deal of US consulate in HK's property proceeds after central govt's approval

By Global Times | Global Times

07:30, February 19, 2021

(Photo: Agencies)

A deal between US consulate in Hong Kong and Hang Lung Properties has proceeded and the estate registration procedure has been completed as of Thursday, after pending for more than a month as the US consulate had not applied to Chinese central government for approval.

Hang Lung Properties bid HK $2.56 billion ($330 million) for a dormitory building of the US consulate at Shouson Hill Road in September 2020, Hong Kong media reported. The deal should have been completed last year but the US consulate did not apply for approval of the sale from the Chinese central government, which is required for properties concerning diplomacy purposes 60 days ahead of time, making the transaction stuck for weeks.

Some anti-China forces said the Chinese central government is intentionally setting barriers for the deal, but such a theory was rebuked by Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at the routine press conference on December 30, 2020 that in view of the US side's regulations on the real estate management of foreign embassies and consulates in the US and based on the principle of reciprocity, China requires the US embassy and consulates in China, including the consulate general in Hong Kong, to submit a written application in advance and provide detailed information accordingly before they lease, purchase, sell, or in any other way acquire or dispose of real estate properties, and before carrying out new construction, reconstruction, expansion, and renovation of the premises.

Only after getting the Chinese side's approval in written form can their relevant procedures be handled, Wang said.

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