Thursday, July 14, 2005

Lawmakers oppose Chinese bid for Unocal

Capitol Hill was abuzz yesterday with opposition to a proposed Chinese takeover of California oil giant Unocal:

In unusually harsh terms, lawmakers and former government officials lashed out at China National Offshore Oil Corp., which has launched an unsolicited $18.5 billion takeover bid for California's Unocal. The offer is higher than Chevron Corp.'s proposal to buy Unocal for about $16.5 billion, a bid federal regulators have already blessed.

Speakers at the House Armed Services Committee hearing called the move an effort by Beijing to lock up oil supplies at the expense of the United States, since the Chinese government owns 70 percent of CNOOC. Some see it as proof that China means to replace the United States as the world's most powerful nation.

"I believe the (People's Republic of China's) aim is inexorably to supplant the United States as the world's premier economic power and, if necessary, to defeat us militarily," said Frank Gaffney, an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration.