WASHINGTON – It's official. The U.S. government says it's abandoning decades of tradition and moving out of New York's famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which was purchased last year by a Chinese firm from Hilton International.
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President Barack Obama, his staff and the sizable State Department contingent that trek to Manhattan every September for the annual U.N. General Assembly will work and stay at the New York Palace Hotel instead.
The change is due in large part to concerns about Chinese espionage, although State Department spokesman Mark Toner would say only that it followed a review "to take into account changing circumstances" that included "possible security concerns."
The AP 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.