China comes calling with $2 trillion in its pocket

The clash between Chinese companies and the governments in countries where China is shopping for assets has heated up recently -- and it is likely to get much worse. The U.S. effectively blocked a takeover of 3Com by Bain Capital and Huawei Technologies. Some of 3Com's assets were deemed "strategic," meaning China should never get its hands on technology that might be counter to American interests.

The most significant example of a fight between a sovereign government and China's M&A power was the death of a deal between Chinese mining company Chinalco and Rio Tinto (RTP). Chinalco planned to put almost $20 billion into the metals company. That would have given it a preferred position to access certain metals and ore. The Australian government balked and the investment died. Oddly enough, a Rio official was recently detained by the Chinese for "spying" to get access to local metals prices.