Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Shooting Our Own Foot?

Bizarre metaphor; bizarre logic.

The Washington Post argues that China isn't really a formidable competitor because its big, bungling bureaucracy is demonstrably inept. Thus, since CNOOC's bid for Unocal was not a threat to US interests, Congress was wrong to have intervened. The editorial laments CNOOC's withdrawn bid as a missed opportunity:
Congress got in the way of the Unocal bid partly because it feared that Chinese control of a U.S. oil company would harm U.S. consumers. But if China had bought Unocal and shipped all its output back home, this would simply have reduced Chinese purchases of other oil. The world oil price would not have changed, and U.S. consumers would have had no reason to notice. Equally, Congress resented the idea that the Chinese bid was partially financed by cheap loans from the Chinese government. But this is what enabled the Chinese to offer a premium to Unocal's U.S. shareholders and also to pledge to preserve Unocal's American jobs. Chinese government subsidies for U.S. shareholders and workers: What would have been wrong with that?
Plenty. Succinctly:
It simply isn't in the interests of the US to allow the emerging fascist regime in Beijing to purchase strategic energy assets, militarily useful technology or greater economic clout than its huge, rapidly growing economy already gives it.


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