A woman walks into the Nexen building in downtown Calgary, Alberta, July 23, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/Todd Korol
"Canada is a country that welcomes foreign investment," International Trade Minister Ed Fast said in Toronto on Tuesday. "We have rigorous review mechanisms in place that ensure that any investments that are made in Canada are in Canada's net benefit and in our national interest and I'm confident the process will work."
It's up to the industry minister to review the $15.1-billion deal over a 45-day period once CNOOC officially files its plan with the feds.
That doesn't satisfy critics who worry the deal would give the Communist Chinese government - which owns CNOOC - too large a foothold in Canada's energy sector.
Greg Autry, senior economist with American Jobs Alliance, warns Beijing is "obviously ramping up for war with our allies, like South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and preparing for war with (the) United States and the rest of the western world."
Joseph Caron, a former Canadian ambassador to China, is less defensive.
He says it's important that CNOOC is willing to submit to Canadian regulations by listing shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange and planting headquarters in Calgary.
"The more the company is integrated in that regulatory framework, the more checks and balances, if you like, there are on its corporate behaviour," he said.
Caron also says approval of the Nexen takeover will give Canada "strong arguments" as it tries to get Beijing to open up its economy to Canadian investment.