Republicans leery of China 3Com merger

Oct. 16, 2007 at 10:13 AM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives said they are suspicious of a proposed merger giving China a share in the 3Com computer security company.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., a ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Committee sponsored a resolution calling for U.S. President George Bush to block the $2.2 billion merger by the investment company Bain Capital Partners and China's Huawei Technology, The Washington Times reported Tuesday.

The company sells hacker-prevention hardware and the Pentagon is one of its key customers. That combination, Ros-Lehtinen said, creates a risk to national security if China buys into 3Com.

"It would be a grave error for U.S. regulators to approve a deal that permits minority ownership in 3Com by one of the least transparent companies operating in China, a firm with shadowy ties to the Chinese army and intelligence services," she said.

U.S. Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., vice chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, told the Times he would prefer to allow the Treasury Department to review the merger before Congress gets involved.

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