Unocal-Angebot treibt Washington in die Enge

Das chinesische Unocal-Übernahmeangebot ist für die Bush-Regierung schwer verdaulich, schreibt die Washington Post:
President Bush's initial response to the proposed takeover of a major American oil company by a Chinese rival has been to duck. It is not hard to see why. The $18.5 billion offer by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation for Unocal, which had already made a deal to be acquired by the American oil giant, Chevron, is forcing the administration to confront its own internal rifts over whether China should be viewed as friend, foe or something in between. It is putting a spotlight on a host of related economic and foreign-policy issues - from North Korea's nuclear program to America's growing dependence on foreign capital and the upward pressure on gasoline prices caused by China's thirst for oil - that defy easy solutions. Hardly a week goes by without Mr. Bush vowing to make America less dependent on foreign sources of energy, so any deal that increases that dependence - or is even perceived as doing so - would create a problem for him. And the situation has left the administration once again confronting the likelihood that its numerous ties to the oil industry will become a political issue. "It's nothing but a headache for them," said James B. Steinberg, who was deputy national security adviser under President Bill Clinton. For now, the administration is in a holding pattern. With no deal yet agreed to, Treasury Secretary John W. Snow told the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday that the issue remained hypothetical. The White House has avoided substantive comment on the matter. People inside and outside the administration who are involved in the matter said the White House would do its best to avoid taking a position for a while by referring a deal, if one is completed, to a body known as the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, which reviews sensitive acquisitions by companies from abroad on the basis of national security. "We have so much on the plate with China," said an adviser to Mr. Bush, who would speak only on the condition of anonymity because the president discourages unauthorized discussions about internal deliberations. "How do you come down hard on them for this deal?"


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