Should car companies be considered "strategic" national interests?

There have been several reports that Beijing Automotive will make a bid for General Motor's Opel division. Canadian parts company Magna has been considered the front runner to get the GM operation. Because Beijing Automotive is owned by the Chinese central government, it has access to nearly limitless amounts of cash.

There is a great deal of ambivalence among the governments in developed and developing nations as China attempts to buy assets, many of them depressed in value because of the recession. Chinese oil firms are about to loan Brazilian oil company Pertrobas $10 billion. China would lock up a guaranteed supply of crude as part of the bargain. China's metals company Chinalco tried to buy a 19% interest in mining company Rio Tinto (NYSE:RTP). The Australian and British governments were ambivalent about the deal, which eventually collapsed.