Canada 'foolish' to consider China's Nexen bid: Author

The Nexen building is seen in downtown Calgary, Alberta, July 23, 2012. (Reuters/TODD KOROL)

The Nexen building is seen in downtown Calgary, Alberta, July 23, 2012. (Reuters/TODD KOROL)

Jessica Hume, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 9:02 PM ET

OTTAWA — If the government believes it can trust China to be a “reciprocal” player in business dealings, then the government doesn’t know China, a U.S. author says.

Greg Autry, whose book on China warns of the dangers of treating its regime as a legitimate government, spoke at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa Friday.

Autry, co-author of Death By China, is a business professor at the University of California who specializes in China, business ethics and technology.

He said Canada would be “insane” to consider allowing the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) to get its hands on Canada’s natural resources. Canada, he said, would be “foolish” to allow CNOOC to buy Alberta oil company Nexen.

The government’s deadline to make a decision on the Nexen deal was next week, but it was pushed back Friday to Dec. 10.

“You can’t really expect to get a fair deal from a country that has cheated on almost every other agreement they’ve signed since the so-called People’s Republic was founded,” he said.

Thursday’s question period in the House of Commons opened with Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair’s assertion that under the Canada-China agreement, Canada could be sued by China for any effort to limit its ownership.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper called those claims “completely and utterly wrong,” saying the deal gives “Canadians allowed to make investments in China a framework — the rule of law that would protect them.”

Autry finds Harper’s words laughable.

“This is an outrageous idea that you’re going to make some sort of reciprocal agreement with China,” he said.

“When Canadian and American companies go into China, they are abused. They are forced into joint partnerships, usually with state-owned companies. Their intellectual property is stolen and they are often chased out of the country with all their capital left behind.”

 


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