NDP says Huawei concerns in U.S. a wake-up call to Canada on Nexen

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OTTAWA - The opposition New Democrats say a U.S. congressional panel's scathing criticism of China technology firms should give the Harper government cause to reject the proposed Chinese takeover of Alberta oil company Nexen.

Industry Canada could announce as early as this week the result of its review of the $15.1-billion bid by the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Co. for Calgary-based Nexen Inc. (TSX:NXY).

The NDP opposes the CNOOC takeover because it says ceding control of the large Canadian resource company to a state-owned Chinese interest raises national security concerns, among others.

Two of the party's critics pointed to Monday's warning by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee that the country should avoid doing business with Huawei Technologies Ltd. and ZTE Corp. because of concerns over cyber espionage.

Critics Paul Dewar and Peter Julian say that warning helps make the case for the Harper government to nix the Nexen deal.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper indicated last week that his government is grappling with "a range of difficult policy questions" on whether to approve the Nexen deal.

The government has until this Friday, but could extend the review period another 30 days.

Organizations: Nexen Inc., NDP, CNOOC Industry Canada TSX U.S. House Intelligence Committee Huawei Technologies ZTE Corp.

Geographic location: U.S., Canada, OTTAWA China Alberta

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