China has made what is thought to be its biggest investment in an overseas company – China Development Bank’s $3 billion 3.1% stake in Britain’s Barclays Bank. Singapore’s state investment agency Temasek is taking a 2.1% stake in Barclays. The money from the two Asian institutions will be used in part to finance Barclays’ increased bid of $93.4 billion for Dutch-based ABN Amro. Should that deal go through, CDB will raise its stake in Barclay’s to 7.7%.These two investments are likely to raise eyebrows in Europe, where there is growing concern about Asian, U.S. and Middle East companies and state investment agencies owning big companies in industries governments consider to be strategic. AFX reports E.U. trade commissioner Peter Mandelson as saying that golden shares could be used to protect European ownership in politically sensitive key industries. Golden shares, which give governments a blocking shareholding, are illegal under E.U. competition law, except in the arms industry.This all seems like the first rumblings of the sort of xenophobic concerns that were expressed in Europe and the U.S. over Japan’s emerging foreign investment in the 1980s and 1990s. As China starts to recycle its trade surplus dollars through foreign M&A and shop abroad for the technology, brand names and local market production it will need to move up the ladder of economic development, there will inevitably be more of these protectionist calls.