Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Chinese firm sues President Obama for blocking US wind farm deal

While lawsuits and litigations are quite common between individuals, businesses and corporations, it’s quite another thing for lawsuits to include heads of state. Of course due to legal protections and other such provisos, heads of state, though certainly not infallible can indeed be impeached and removed but being sued by either an individual or a company is quite novel. And that is just what has happened as Chinese firm, Ralls Corp, has submitted a lawsuit to a U.S. court, suing U.S. President Barack Obama for blocking a recent wind farm deal on the ground of national security.
Ralls Corporation submitted its lawsuit Monday, claiming that by blocking the deal, which would have seen the private Chinese firm acquire a wind farm in Oregon, the U.S. government had over-stepped its bounds and that the U.S. president had "acted in an unlawful and unauthorised manner."
President Obama had last week issued an order to block the deal, citing national security concerns as the four wind farm in question is located close to a Naval Weapons Systems Training Facility. In a statement issued by the White House, the presidential order stated that, "There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that Ralls Corporation... might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”
This action by the president is the first time that foreign investment has been blocked in the U.S. for 22 years and that too through a presidential order.
Responding to the news, a representative of Ralls Corp. which is a part of the Sany Group, China’s largest engineering machine producer, said that in issuing the order, President Obama had not provided any supporting evidence and that the Ralls Corp. acquisition of the wind farms posed no threat to U.S. national security. Zhou Qing, a Ralls Corp. legal officer, told the Chinese news agency Xinhua that the move was most likely motivated by the upcoming U.S. presidential election, hoping to use it as a campaigning ploy, something that the newspaper echoed in its statement that the decision was an example of “China Bashing” used "to woo some blue-collar voters."
Apparently the Naval facility near the wind firms is used for drone testing and other related technologies but the White House has yet to provide any evidence as to the possible threat of the Chinese acquisition.
Though America shares very strong trade links with China, a recent Pew Research Centre survey found that while the U.S. public felt that relations between the two countries were “generally good” they still saw China as the greatest threat to the country, with 52 percent of those surveyed agreeing to this.

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