Canadian Falun Gong association claims Chinese company bidding for Nexen linked to human rights abuses



OTTAWA - New allegations against CNOOC could sink the Chinese state-owned company's bid to buy Canadian energy company Nexen for $15 billion.

The Falun Dafa Association of Canada claims a subsidiary of CNOOC in Tianjin, China, routinely persecutes employees if they take part in quasi-religious meditation practices known as Falun Gong.

"Practitioners are not entitled to wages and bonuses," said Lucy Zhou of the Canadian association. "They're only entitled to the lowest possible living expenses, which amounts to $32 Canadian per month."

She alleges there are at least 100 cases of Falun Gong-practicing CNOOC employees arrested and sent to labour camps or mental hospitals in China over the last 13 years.

Ex-Liberal MP David Kilgour says he believes CNOOC isn't the kind of company Canadians want buying up Nexen.

"They don't act on their own initiative," said Kilgour. "They take orders from the party representative in the management. It's the way business operates in China - certainly for the state-owned enterprises."

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