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In September, two months after China's state-owned CNOOC Ltd made an unexpected $15.1 billion bid for Canadian energy company Nexen Inc, Canada's spy agency told ministers that takeovers by Chinese companies may threaten national security.

The rare warning from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), which was disclosed to Reuters by intelligence sources, did not stop the takeover. That was approved by Canadian authorities earlier this month.

But the intervention and an influential U.S. lawmaker's warning in October that Canadian companies should be careful about doing business with Chinese telecom equipment companies Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp made the approval process...

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