Commenting for the first time since Harper allowed the $15.1-billion takeover of Nexen Inc. by China National Offshore Oil Corp., a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, Hong Lei, alleged that Beijing “welcomes” Canada’s decision to allow the Nexen deal to finalize. Mr. Lei informed during a press conference in Beijing on Monday, that “we hope the relevant acquisition will be carried out in a smooth manner, so as to bring mutual benefit and profits to both sides.”
Though when Lei was inquired about Mr. Harper’s ban on any foreign state-owned enterprises might specifically be targeted at China, Mr. Lei avoided the question. He replied saying that “I think relevant parties should support the mutually beneficial co-operation between China and Canada.” This avoidance of commenting on Harper’s decision might be motivated by two factors. Firstly, the Chinese might just be actually happy that Nexen takeover was allowed to go ahead. Or, secondly, perhaps China understands that it will never itself allow any Canadian or American state-owned firm to purchase any large Chinese oil firm.