Friday, September 21, 2018

Security Expert – Chinese firm’s ‘problematic history’ warrants review of Aecon takeover

As reported on BNN, the “problematic history” of China Communications Construction Company (CCCI) warrants a full national security review of its proposed $1.5-billion takeover of Canada’s Aecon Group, according to  a national security expert.

“It’s a major transaction. [CCCI] is a very large, global Chinese state-owned enterprise, which has ties to, obviously, the Chinese government. It has a Communist Party cell embedded within its decision-making architecture,” Wesley Wark, national security expert at the University of Ottawa, told BNN in an interview Monday.

“It has a bit of a problematic history in terms of allegations of corruption in various global enterprises it’s been involved in,” he added. “It had also been involved some military construction for the Chinese government which was very controversial.”

In 2009, the World Bank banned CCCI from bidding on construction projects for eight years because of  “fraudulent practices”  involving a bid-rigging scandal in the Philippines.

Wark said the full-fledged security review of the Aecon deal provides the government with more time to dig into evidence around the case, examine available intelligence, and could involve contacting allies for information.

He said the nature of the deal and the key players involved make the security review critical.