The construction of the Chinees Paviljoen (Chinese Pavilion) in Strijp-S will start soon.
On Tuesday evening, Eindhoven’s politicians agreed to make more than EUR 1,8 million available for the building’s construction. The money comes from a donation from the Chinese city of Nanjing. The project underlines the friendship between Eindhoven and Nanjing. Earlier this year, this metropolis had already agreed to the construction.
Several parties in the City Council still had some doubts about possible rising costs. For example, D66 wondered whether the price tag for the pavilion would increase as construction costs continue to rise. But Mayor John Jorritsma assured them that the job would be done within the available budget.
DENK is the only party that has serious doubts about the building of the pavilion. This opposition group raised the issue of human rights in China. In particular the repression of the Uighurs minority group. DENK wonders whether Eindhoven’s cooperation with Nanjing could be seen in isolation from all these human rights violations.
The high-tech region Eindhoven also invests in, and has trade missions, to China. The party believes Mayor Jorritsma should discuss these human rights situations with Nanjing’s local administrators. He will be in the Asian country next week.
Jorritsma says he regrets the human rights violations. However, he does not think he is in a position to raise this issue in China. “It is up to the National Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is not a task for a City Council.” The Mayor points out that such an approach is not effective either.
“My counterpart in Nanjing will refer me to the government in Beijing for this. Nanjing is also 4,000 kilometres away from the area where the Uighurs are being oppressed. That is a long way away.” He also emphasised that regional high-tech companies that go on trade missions must comply with all kinds of international guidelines for corporate social responsibility.
Eindhoven-based restauranteur, Eveline Wu, is going to rent the Pavilion at Strijp-S. She wants to run a restaurant there. It will also be a place where Chinese culture must become visible.
Editor: Melinda Walraven