20090811 china flag oil reserve base 18
A flag flies near an oil reserve base on the seashore in Ningbo of Zhejiang Province, China. - 


Bill Radke: China's sovereign wealth fund has a $200-billion war chest. Now late last year most of that money was in cash. But Marketplace's Steve Henn reports China Investment Corp. has gone on a buying binge.

Steve Henn: CIC invested less than $5 billion outside of China last year. This year it's spending more than that each month. And it's buying stake in mines and energy companies all over the world.

Phillip Levy: China is a fairly resource poor country.

Phillip Levy is an economist at the American Enterprise Institute. He says China's leaders and business elite worry a lot about where their natural resources will come from 10 years from now.

Levy: I think there is a very limited degree of confidence that they will just get whatever they need on open international markets. In many ways when it comes to energy or commodities, they see security as having an ownership stake.

Buying commodities and the companies who produce them provides a measure of security if the dollar loses value.

But John Frisbee at the U.S.-China Business Council says China has its eye on more than just mines and oil companies.

JOHN FRISBEE: I think we should expect over time that China will start to invest in other ways.

Chinese firms are already making dishwashers in South Carolina and buying auto-parts companies in the Midwest.

I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.