China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy [December 9, 2008] [open pdf - 371KB]
"U.S.-China relations were remarkably smooth for much of the George W. Bush Administration, raising speculation about how relations will fare after the transition to the Obama Administration. The State Department in 2005 unveiled what it said was a new framework for the relationship-- with the United States willing to work cooperatively with China while encouraging Beijing to become a 'responsible stakeholder' in the global system. [...]. China is the second largest holder of U.S. securities and the largest holder of U.S. Treasuries used to finance the federal budget deficit. Other U.S. policymakers have advocated tougher stances on issues involving China. They are concerned about the impact of the PRC's strong economic growth and a more assertive PRC diplomacy in the international arena; procedures to assure the quality of Chinese pharmaceuticals, food, and other imports into the United States; repeated PRC inabilities to protect U.S. intellectual property rights, and trade practices and policies in China that contribute to a strong U.S. trade deficit with China ($256 billion in 2007). Democratic Taiwan, over which China claims sovereignty, remains the most sensitive bilateral issue and the one many observers fear could lead to Sino-U.S. conflict. [...]. Other concerns about China appear driven by security calculations, where U.S. officials question the motivations behind China's expanding military budget."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33877