пятница, 18 марта 2011 г.

No China in the town


Three years ago the company Inteko agreed with the Chinese contractor to begin construction in Kazakhstan. But the Kazakhs delayed the issuance of licenses to the Chinese. Inteko suffered losses, and it looks as if the Moscow authorities decided to help the company return the money. Now the money has been demanded from other Chinese also.

Now Sergei Sanakoyev, Chairman of the board of directors in Russian-Chinese Centre of trade and economic cooperation complains that Mayor's Office stops the construction of Huamin Park - a large center with area of 200,000 square meters near the metro station "Botanichesky Sad", Moscow. Mayor Luzhkov simply does not sign the draft of regulations required.

Many construction projects in Moscow do not go together with some Master Plan of the city development. To remedy this contradiction, they need to remove the so-called red lines by releasing the ruling of the government of Moscow. Draft regulations for the removal of red lines for the Chinese project was prepared and agreed a few years ago. But then it work out.

If it were a usual construction project in the capital, the problem would be solved easily according to the well-known scenario. But the Huamin Park by Sanakoyev is an important Russian-Chinese intergovernmental project. It was to become a trademark of the PRC. The project cost was estimated at $ 800 million. PRC government has invested the money through the Park Huamin.

In the summer of 2007, the first stone of the business center was solemnly laid by the vice-premiers of Russia and China. Mayor Yury Luzhkov spoke at the ceremony that the Center was to become a symbol of how Russia and China could jointly solve complex problems.

When the authorizing documentation suffered problems, managers of the Huamin Park got Chinese authorities involved. At a reception in the representation of China embassador Li Hui asked Yuri Luzhkov directly about the reasons for delaying the construction. Mayor was surprised, and said he did not know about the problems, and immediately asked aides to handle it. And then, according to Sanakoyev, the mayor met with him and said bluntly that the draft of Chinese in Moscow was not going to move unless they paid the required amount - the same one Inteko had lost in Kazakhstan. That was about $ 50 million, Sanakoyev says.

Huamin Park had no relation to the Kazakh story. Inteko worked with the All-China engineering and construction corporation (ACECC) there. The Chinese contractor was supposed to build Business Center "Moscow" in Astana. But ACECC could not begin the construction for a long time: it had to be licensed to work in Kazakhstan. The company Inteko was to help with obtaining a license, Sanakoyev says. However, they have another opinion in Inteko. "On the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan any legal entity is obliged to obtain licenses by itself", Inteko told Newsweek.

According to the source of Newsweek, as a result, the Chinese managed to bring the discussion of the project to the level of the high-ranking persons from the both countries. In May last year, the chairman of the Chinese parliament, Wu Bangguo complained at the meeting with Dmitry Medvedev that the construction of the business complex still had not been begun. "They say, Medvedev was shocked, the source says. He said: can not be so, that the officer restrained a state project because of his personal business."

After the meeting of Dmitry Medvedev with a Chinese speaker the matter was referred to the control of the presidential administration. Then it was transferred to the Government of Moscow to be buried again. In March of this year, another major Chinese official Xi Jinping - deputy chairman of the PRC and the most likely heir to the current President Hu Jintao - was going to visit the capital and was supposed to open the Year of the Chinese language in Russia together with Vladimir Putin. The conversation could easily go on about the problems of Huamin Park.

But it happened t so hat on March 23, on the day of arrival of Comrade Xi, the Investigation Committee of the prosecutor's office announced the initiation of criminal proceedings against Chairman of Moskontrol Alexander Ryabinin - he had twice written negative feedback for the project construction. Thus, if the conversation turned to be about the problems of the Chinese project, the Russian prime minister could easily support it: a key official of the City Hall had just been charged for extortion. And as soon as Xi went back to China, Ryabinin was dismissed of all the charges. "We are in despair", one of the leaders of the Park Huamin says. The Corporation is preparing to write off $ 9 million spent on land leasing and then it is going to close the Moscow office completely.

Source: "Russian Newsweek" on 04/19/2010

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