For Democratic Senator Jack Reed it is the close ties between Chinese companies and the government in Beijing that makes him suspicious. “The real concern — and it has to be case by case — is that many of these companies are so closely intertwined with the government of China that it is hard to see where the company stops and the country begins, and vice versa,” he said. Such thinking doesn’t go over well in Beijing. “It’s excessive anxiety,” said Mei Xinyu, a researcher at a think tank in China’s Ministry of Commerce. “For the U.S., every bush and tree looks like an enemy soldier,” he said, adapting an old Chinese saying. The next 18 months could be particularly rocky for Sino-U.S. dealmaking, according to William Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, a business association focused on international trade and investment issues. The U.S. Presidential and Congressional elections are due in November 2012. And in China towards the end of next year, President Hu Jintao is expected to hand over the reins of power to his heir-apparent Xi Jinping. “We could see a deterioration next year that is politically motivated in both countries — in that case I think you have a potentially very serious problem,” Reinsch said.