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China berates U.S. over Unocal vote
Updated: 2005-07-07 08:38

China criticized the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday for demanding a review of an attempted takeover of California-based oil producer Unocal Corp. by China's CNOOC Ltd.

"We demand that the U.S. Congress correct its mistaken ways of politicizing economic and trade issues and stop interfering in the normal commercial exchanges between enterprises of two countries," the Foreign Ministry said in a faxed statement.

The House last Thursday voted 333-92 in favor of a measure to block the Bush administration from approving CNOOC's $18.5 billion bid.

It also passed, with an overwhelming majority, a nonbinding resolution calling on the Bush administration to immediately conduct a review of the possible takeover, noting that it could threaten U.S. national security.

The bid by CNOOC, China's top offshore oil producer, topped a $16 billion-plus cash and stock offer that Unocal had already accepted from Chevron Corp.

CNOOC's largest shareholder is the Chinese government.

The Chinese firm's bid has become a complicating factor in diplomatic ties between China and the United States and comes at a sensitive time when oil prices are near record highs.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to visit China on Saturday and Sunday.

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