Saturday, July 02, 2005

China and Unocal

Ever since I first heard the news of China's intent to buy one of our biggest oil companies, I've had a sort of a sick feeling that it isn't a good idea. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, though. I'm generally a supporter of open borders for trade, and I'm seldom an alarmist when it comes to business acquisitions (in fact, I've been a strong proponent of free trade). We had little or no trouble when the Japanese and Germans had been buying up our businesses and out real estate. Life went on. But as Irwin Seltzer points out, complacency over the issue of China buying one of our oil corporations is not necessarily a wise stance. By the very nature of China's political/economic structure, and by the nature of the commodity they are trying to grab, this isn't a simple business deal. It could, indeed, be the first salvo in the next cold war (or worse).

Am I being paranoid? maybe. But if history is an indicator, my paranoia may have legitimate roots in reality.

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