Obama blocks Chinese purchase of US wind farms near Navy base
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Citing national security risks, President Barack Obama on Friday blocked a Chinese company from owning four wind farm projects in northern Oregon near a Navy base where the US military flies unmanned drones and electronic-warfare planes on training missions.
It was the first time in 22 years that a US president blocked such a foreign business deal.
Obama's decision was likely to be another irritant in the increasingly tense economic relationship between the US And China. It also comes against an election-year backdrop of intense criticism from Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney, who accuses Obama of not being tough enough with China.
In his decision, Obama ordered Ralls Corporation, 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 case reached the president's desk after the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, known as 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 a transaction. The administration would not say what risks the wind farm purchases presented. The Treasury Department said CFIUS made its recommendation to Obama after receiving an analysis of the potential threats from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
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