The Straits Times
Published on Oct 03, 2012

Chinese firm sues Obama for blocking wind farm near drone site


WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - A small Chinese firm has sued President Barack Obama for squashing its bid to build wind farms close to a naval training site, but experts say the suit is long shot for a firm that greatly underestimated United States (US) suspicions about Chinese intentions.

Ralls Corp, which is owned by two Chinese nationals, was installing wind turbines close to the training site in Oregon, which, according to the facility's web site, is used to test unmanned drones - a highly sensitive and prized US technology.

The US Navy says the training site's airspace is also the only restricted area in western US where fighter jets conduct training maneuvers at high speed and very low altitudes.

Mr Obama put the brakes on the project last week and ordered Ralls to sell off the four planned wind farms due to national security risks, the first time since 1990 that a US president has formally blocked a business transaction or required a sale on such grounds. Ralls Corp has until Dec 27 to comply.