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Obama stops Chinese firm from owning US projects

According to reports, citing national security risks, US President Barack Obama has blocked a Chinese company from owning four wind farm projects near a navy base where the US military tests unmanned drones and electronic-warfare planes.

Obama ordered Ralls Corp, a company owned by Chinese nationals, to divest its interest in the wind farms it purchased earlier this year near the Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility in Boardman, Oregon, the Shanghai Daily reported.

The case reached the president’s desk after the Committee on Foreign Investments in the US (CFIUS) determined there was no way to address the national security risks posed by the Chinese company’s purchases.

Only the president has final authority to prohibit such a transaction.

The report, however, did not say what risks the wind farm purchases presented.

The treasury department said the CFIUS made its recommendation to Obama after receiving an analysis of the potential threats from the Office of the director of national intelligence, the Chinese daily said.

The military has said it uses the Oregon naval facility to test unmanned drones and the EA-18G “Growler”, an electronic warfare aircraft that accompanies US fighter bombers on missions. It jams enemy radar, destroying them with missiles along the way.

At the Oregon site, the planes fly as low as 61 metres and at nearly 500 km per hour.

The treasury department said Obama’s decision was specific to this transaction and does not set a precedent for other foreign investment in the US by China or any other country.

However, Xinhua said in a commentary: “The move has once again revealed the hypocrisy of US politics and double standard on so-called welcoming foreign investment.”

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