Balance of power

More than likely market forces will ultimately decide Pfizer’s record takeover bid for AstraZenica (Perspective, 7 May).

However, the intense political debate raises an interesting question of what is meant by “strategic importance”. Consider the way the North Sea oil and gas industry exemplifies commercial openness and free trade. Nationalised oil and gas was anathema to the politics of the 1970s, which highlighted deregulation.

Among many nations, the Chinese and Korean oil corporations own and control extensive North Sea assets. Moreover, just recently a Russian oligarch paid £4.2 billion for a German company’s oil and gas business.

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Odd that neither the Scottish nor Westminster governments raised any concern over a potential “strategic interest”.

It’s a commonplace argument that domestic and foreign policy are to be seen as “inextricably intertwined”. Does an acceptance of China in the North Sea reflect a change in global power relations?

Arguably, political concerns over a US company’s bid show the shift in the balance of power.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk