China Investment Corp (CIC) likes to buy things it can touch. This isn’t surprising, given how the sovereign wealth fund’s previous investments in the likes of Blackstone and Morgan Stanley were exposed by the sudden fragility of once iron-clad corporate America. What better response than to sink your cash into commodities that are dug from the ground or real estate that was built to withstand years of physical as well as financial storms? Adding to a string of recent investments that include property in London and mining assets in Canada, CIC has spent US$850 million on a 15% stake in Noble Group. It appears to be a solid bet. Singapore-listed Noble Group made its name as a shipper and trader of commodities largely on the basis of business it did with China. As long as Chinese commodities demand remains strong – and Beijing has a big say over that – then Noble will remain strong. The same day the deal was announced, the Asian Development Bank, convinced by the solidity of Beijing’s stimulus package, hiked its 2009 economic growth prediction for China to 8.2%. Although the world appears increasingly sold on China’s economic prospects, there is less certainty regarding Beijing’s stance on climate change. President Hu Jintao is due to address the UN climate change summit today, and pundits expect a commitment to reducing carbon use – but not to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. Let’s hope Yvo de Boer, head of the UN climate change body, doesn’t end up with egg on his face. De Boer said he expected Hu’s address to turn China into the “world leader” on combating climate change.