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US Reviewing Chinese Purchase of Waldorf Hotel

The lobby of New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel, Oct. 6, 2014.
The lobby of New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel, Oct. 6, 2014.

The U.S. government is reviewing the Hilton Company's planned sale of the famed Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City to a Chinese insurance company.

A spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Kurtis Cooper, said Tuesday that last week's $1.95 billion sale to Anbang Insurance Group is being scrutinized. He said particular attention will be given to a planned major renovation included in the terms of the deal.

The Waldorf Astoria has been home to U.S. envoys to the U.N. for more than 50 years. U.S. President Barack Obama stays at the Waldorf Astoria when he is in town.

The State Department routinely warns U.S. diplomats in China about physical and electronic surveillance, and tells American citizens in that country to be aware of similar risks, notably in hotels.

Every September, the department takes over two floors of the Waldorf to serve as headquarters for the horde of U.S. diplomats that come from Washington for the U.N. General Assembly.

The sale allows Hilton to run the hotel for the next 100 years.

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