State-controlled Chinese oil company makes big bid for America’s Unocal

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), a state-controlled Chinese oil company, is making an $18.5 billion bid to take over California-based oil and gas firm Unocal, which has extensive Asian operations. Rival bidder Chevron warns that China will have the power to raise energy prices for U.S. consumers if CNOOC prevails, and some lawmakers are anxious about national-security implications. But the Bush administration seems loath to comment on the deal, since China has some very pointy hooks in the U.S. economy. In particular, it acquired over $200 billion in U.S. Treasury securities just last year, cementing its status as one of America’s major creditors. Against the backdrop of world oil prices hitting $60 a barrel, however, critics of the takeover bid are incensed that Bush is largely mute while the world’s largest communist country attempts to take over a U.S. energy company.