Friday, June 24, 2005


"It does raise questions about how much of the country we are willing to sell to a Communist country that we might be fighting someday."(MICHAEL O'HANLON, an international military specialist at the Brookings Institution, on the bid for Unocal Corporation by one of China's largest state-controlled oil companies.)

This statement disturbs me. The first thing I noted was his premise that Unocal was somehow the property of the US. “…how much of the country we are willing to sell”. Unocal, of course, is a multinational corporation. It belongs to the shareholders and they can decide where to place their loyalties. They are currently headquartered in El Segundo, California, but that’s just a place to store papers and mid-level executives. Their resources, the lifeblood of the corporation come from all over the world.

The second thing I noted was the fact that he was calling China a Communist country. They are not. No, they aren’t a democracy by any stretch…but they gave up communism a long time ago. I really don’t know what the proper term for them is…but it’s not communism anymore. (I think Castro is the last true communist) I would be more interested in determining and influencing the shape of their government, not raising the specter of possible war.

Third, I wondered why it was oil that got the attention of Mr. O’Hanlon? Why doesn’t the fact that China, among all the countries of the world, holds the most of our national debt bother him? And our balance of trade with China? Isn’t that worthy of mention? In the Port of Los Angeles alone, we import $35 billion dollars worth of Chinese finished goods annually. At the same time, we export $3 billion dollars worth of raw materials to China. That’s the figures from one port alone.

I know it’s not as dramatic a story as one with the word “oil’ in it, but Wal*Mart sold itself to China quite a few years ago, as did every multinational corporation that could.

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