John Coates, Dick Pound and Seb Coe’s Business Links to China Exposed

CHEAPecent weeks and months have seen members of the International Olympic Protection Committee organization’s approach to human rights issues in China. A deeper dive into their business interests reveals that, for some IOC members, connections to Beijing extend beyond sports.

Recently, IOC Vice President John Coates explained that “the IOC is really focused on human rights.” It’s just pressure Beijing on Xinjiang not included in the IOC “remittance”.

“We must respect the sovereignty of the host countries,” he said.

Whether Coates, who is also president of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), places “a very high emphasis on human rights” in his own business affairs is another question.

Research by The Daily Beast reveals deep business ties between China – including Xinjiang province, where the Uighur ethnic genocide is believed to be taking place – and the company where he chairs .

Coates’ official IOC filing does not mention that since 2007 he has been the chairman of William Inglis & Son Ltd., an Australian thoroughbred horse auction house.

Inglis is a serious business — complicated in Sydney has a large five-star hotel complete with a cafe, gym and swimming pool, plus 800 stables where it holds auctions.

China is an important growth market for Inglis because more than a decade. Although the most recent races were disrupted by the pandemic, the company sponsored a China-Australia horse racing cup taking place in Shanxi. In interviews with Chinese publications, Inglis’ China representative Tian Jin described the Cup as Inglis’ highest awarding event outside of Australia.

Tian also mentioned Inglis’ participation in the horse cup from Xinjiang. Chinese sources claim that Inglis organized the sale of a number of horses to at least one owner and major breeder in Xinjiang.

The province, inhabited by the Uighurs, plays an important part in China’s horse industry, with Chinese tycoons Installing barns and training and breeding programs there.

Promotion of Xinjiang “Horse Culture” is a staple of state media propaganda. This effort is connected through a broader cultural cleansing campaign to crack down on local customs seen as ‘more extreme’, such as alcohol moderate, Halal food consumption, wear beard, and other practices.

The Daily Beast found that, at once sold Inglis In 2019, more than $3.5 million worth of horses were sold to “secret“Chinese Horse Club, attracted careful assessment for its membership structure and its mysterious ownership. Another 1.5 million Australian dollars [U.S.$1 million ] The value of the horses was sold to the club in another auction last year.

In total, Inglis auctions last year saw horses worth more than A$18,861,500 [US$13 million] sold to buyers based in China.

An Inglis spokesperson declined to comment. Coates told The Daily Beast that the quotes above “reflect the IOC and my views on human rights in China.”

“My IOC profile details my various sporting positions and does not list the many commercial director positions I have had over the years,” he said. The AOC Annual Report lists all current director positions. It included being the Chairman of William Inglis & Son Ltd. I have no further comments. ”

Coates is not the only one of the 101 members of the IOC to respond to suggestions that the organization can do anything to put pressure on Beijing over human rights abuses.

“[The IOC] has no role in bringing about political change… Human rights issues are political,” stressed Canadian member Dick Pound in response to a question about internment camps and ethnic cleansing in Xinjiang. Confess to being completely ignorant of affairs in the western province of China for one Interview with German radio stationPound offers little reassurance that athletes will be free to discuss these issues without consequences while in China.

“It would be helpful to have an independent assessment of what is going on” in Xinjiang, Pound illustriously suggests, “…and perhaps that is a step the Chinese will be prepared to see. review.”

Pound’s apparent naivete about the possibility of China’s one-party state to conduct an “independent assessment” of the Uyghurs’ plight demonstrates his benefit to the country.

The Canadian law firm where Pound advises, Stikeman Elliott LLP, has a deep and long-standing stake in the Chinese trade. Stikeman’s website boasts of having worked for “many famous Chinese companies,” before making a list of top state-owned companies, some of the biggest in the world.

The Daily Beast obtained a copy of a book written and published by Pound in 2013, in which he prides himself on the company’s deep business ties to China.

Pound writes: “The company has always been interested in China, since the 1980s. “As China began to expand its reach and interests abroad, we invited a former Canadian ambassador to China. Country, Harold Balloch, for two years, 2005-6, to help us develop a more collaborative approach to the Chinese market.

“This led to the development, which began in November 2007, of the company’s China initiative, with a focus on bringing work from China to Canada… The Chinese interest group now has more than 60 members of the company.” Pound went on to discuss lucrative headline cases, the art of networking in China, and the company’s marketing strategy on propaganda media outlets in China.

Pound told the Daily Beast: “Neither my company nor its involvement in Asia have any connection whatsoever with my personal views on the appropriate role of the IOC and/or the relationship. its with China.”

The Chinese government sent a clear message against the Western legal profession last year, when it sanctioned the entire British bar association after four of its members wrote a legal opinion that the events in Xinjiang could constitute genocide. . The sanctions prompted some lawyers to leave the main London branch, along with six other lawyers from the Singapore branch. Pound said he was unaware of China’s retaliation against lawyers who spoke out against the country’s human rights record.

“My view of the limitations of the IOC in changing the behavior of the Chinese government has absolutely nothing to do with Stikeman Elliott,” he said.

The IOC members’ apparent business relationship with China doesn’t stop there. Last November, British member Sebastian Coe description growing diplomatic boycott of the Olympics as “a senseless and damaging gesture.”

Detective The magazine responded by reporting that Coe earns more than $130,000 a year as a non-executive director of Fortescue Metals Group, an Australian mining company that receives 90% of its billion-dollar revenue from China in 2020.

Not only that, a Chinese state-owned company owns a large stake in the company.

A Fortescue spokesperson confirmed that the company already has a deep relationship with the Chinese market.

“Fortescue’s success and that of the Australian economy is largely built on China’s remarkable growth… Fortescue has built long-standing relationships in China that go beyond supplying iron ore and including including acquisitions, financing arrangements, academic, policy and social links, as well as a highly successful direct investment in Fortescue by our second largest shareholder, Hunan Valin Steel Group. ”

“Lord Sebastian Coe CH, KBE, is a key member of Fortescue’s Talented and Diverse Board of Directors, committed to advancing and protecting the interests of both shareholders and stakeholders.”

In his role at the International Olympic Committee, Coe – who also runs the world athletics tournaments – has the opportunity to meet leading Chinese politicians and business figures. However, a Fortescue spokesperson explained that Coe “has been really against nations boycotting the Olympics” for 40 years, and his stance against boycotts has nothing to do with Beijing 2022 in particular. .

That is also true, as China has shown how strongly it will respond to any criticism from Australia. In 2020, in response to Australia’s call for a free investigation into the origins of the new coronavirus, Beijing imposed tariffs and other trade barriers on wine, barley, seafood. and Australian coal.

IOC President, Thomas Bach, he himself drew criticism during his campaign to lead the organization. A rival, a Swiss lawyer, emphasize of Bach that “he uses his position to his advantage to be able to win contracts for the companies he represents,” before apologizing after apparent pressure from the Ethics Committee of IOC.

The IOC press office told The Daily Beast that it contacted Denis Oswald, a member from Switzerland, and explained that he had provided the following quote:

“When I realized that my comments were misinterpreted and out of context, I decided to retract them without any pressure.”

The Committee reviews possible conflicts of interest of members in the private sector, without making submissions or findings public. “The IOC has a conflict of interest resolution system that meets international standards and is best-in-class for sports organisations,” said an IOC spokesman.

To fulfill their IOC roles, members get to meet privately with dignitaries, tycoons and politicians from around the world.

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