China wants sewer pipe moved before building new embassy in New Zealand

WELLINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) – The Chinese embassy in the capital Wellington and local New Zealand authorities confirmed on Friday that they are holding talks about laying a sewer pipe that runs under a new construction site.

China received approval to build a new embassy in 2018, but the site remained undeveloped. The sewer pipe is 800 mm (31.5 in) in diameter and runs across the proposed site.

A spokesman for the embassy said China has been working with Wellington City Council on what to do with the pipe “to create the necessary conditions for the construction of the embassy.”

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A city council spokesman said many buildings had pipes under them so it shouldn’t be an undue problem.

“However, we understand why the embassy may consider the pipes to be a security risk,” the spokesman said, without listing specific risks.

The embassy spokesman raised concerns about “the future maintenance and possible repair” of the pipe.

The embassy would have to bear any costs for the pipe laying, said the spokesman for the city council.

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Reporting by Lucy Craymer; Editing by Tom Hogue

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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