Top American lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are expressing serious concerns about a bid by the communist dictatorship ruling mainland China to purchase Canadian energy firm Nexen and its vast U.S. oil and natural gas holdings. The deal by the Chinese regime, acting through its state-owned front company China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), also represents a potential national security risk, warned Republican and Democrat members of Congress.
Canadian lawmakers have also questioned the plan, asking for a public review before the controversial deal is allowed to go through. Critics point out that CNOOC is not a “company” in the traditional sense — it is an organ of one of the most brutal and repressive regimes in the world. The communist regime and its front company, however, are fighting back hard against the opposition, dropping big money on lobbying and propaganda efforts — they call it “public relations” — in both countries.
In 2005, CNOOC’s bid to purchase California-based Unocal for almost $20 billion was withdrawn after a bipartisan wave of outrage. But that was then. Analysts suspect the Chinese dictatorship may have learned from its past experience, taking slow steps and making the potential success of its latest takeover attempt far more likely.
"It's partly the valuation, partly an evolution of the Chinese mindset. You couldn't do this deal a year after Unocal," a source familiar with the deal told Reuters. "They had to have made the smaller steps in the meantime that made everyone comfortable that they knew how to behave responsibly, operate effectively, treat employees well."
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