from Follow the Money

Gasoline is a fundamental human right …

September 16, 2005

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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On this, I bet many American and Chinese citizens agree ... only here in the US, we think "cheap" gas - not just gasoline -- is a fundamental human right. 

The US decision to block (de facto tho not de jure) CNOOC's bid raises some serious issues, but this outburst from CNOOC's CFO still struck me as a bit over the top. 

In a rare public outburst, Yang Hua, the [CNOOC's] chief financial officer and main negotiator with Unocal, said it was important for the world to grant both China and India, which have become major consumers of oil and gas, long-term energy security.  "What is ‘human rights'? I'll tell you what it means. It means having guaranteed access to energy. It means having petroleum to run your car," he told journalists in Hong Kong yesterday."

It also seems like CNOOC no longer wants to be viewed as basically private company:

 "When [Cnooc] goes abroad, it is treated as an ordinary listed oil company. But if the state-owned parent goes out, it will be representing the Chinese government. And there are many countries where China is received with opened arms, such as Africa," he said.

"Our parent company is our major shareholder. There is nothing wrong with borrowing a bit of political capital from it."

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