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China Watching Sany U.S. Wind-Farm Case, Minister Chen Says

China is investigating and watching the progress of a case involving a Sany Group Co. affiliate which U.S. President Barack Obama barred from building a wind farm in Oregon, Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said.

Under Chinese regulations, the government has a duty to assist companies that have suffered damage if they request help, Chen said at the National People’s Congress in Beijing today. He didn’t specify whether Sany has sought assistance.

Obama on Sept. 28 ordered Sany affiliate Ralls Corp. to divest all interest in the wind-farm project with locations near or within restricted Navy airspace, the first time in 22 years a president has blocked a transaction on grounds of national security. Ralls can continue arguing Obama should explain his order, even though it can’t challenge his authority to require a sale, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled Feb. 22.

“Because this involves an enterprise and a foreign government, the Chinese government is paying attention and investigating in accordance with the law,” Chen said. “We are still following the issue.”

The multi-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. in July cited “national security risks” raised by the sale of wind-farm assets to Ralls. The company filed a lawsuit Sept. 12 challenging the CFIUS ruling, and on Oct. 1 added the president to the suit.

Ralls may lose about $20 million, including design and construction costs, because of the ban, Zhou Qing, Sany’s in-house lawyer, said Oct. 3.

The ban won’t stop Sany Group from pursuing acquisitions overseas, Xiang Wenbo, president of Shanghai-listed unit Sany Heavy Industry Co., said March 2.

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