China has the fastest growing economy in the world, and it wants to grow faster — but to do that it needs oil. Lots of oil. So it’s hoping to buy the U.S. energy company Unocal.
The firm is up for sale, and China’s National Offshore Oil Company has made the highest bid. But many are questioning this deal, and Congress has passed resolutions calling for a long second look. These people are worried such a deal is a matter of national security at a time when energy is in short supply.
But others say that China is no different from other countries like Venezuela, Russia, and Saudi Arabia who are also in the energy business, and besides they say, in a capitalist system, the market makes the rules and if China wants to pay top dollar everyone else has to get out of the way.
Bobby Jindal, Republican Congressman representing the 1st District in Louisiana
Rob Gifford, NPR’s Beijing correspondent
Bates Gill, Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
Peter Morici, professor of international business at the University of Maryland.