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Unocal bidding a three-front war

July 14, 2005 at 8:47 AM

WASHINGTON, July 14 (UPI) -- The contest to buy Unocal Corp. turned into a three-front war this week as U.S. politicians, directors and suitors staked out key positions.

In Washington, Congress heard critics of Cnooc Ltd.'s $18.5 billion all-cash bid for Unocal denounced as a threat by Beijing against the United States, the New York Times reported Thursday.

R. James Woolsey, former CIA director, told the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday that Cnooc's move was part of China's strategic plan to control the western Pacific.

In California Unocal's board, which already has given tentative approval to a stock-and-cash offer of $16.5 billion from Chevron Corp., prepared to meet Thursday to consider Cnooc's bid.

In Hong Kong, Cnooc's leaders late Wednesday authorized negotiators to increase the amount they would pay for Unocal. The move appeared timed to coincide with the meeting of Unocal's board.

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