China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy [Updated September 21, 2007] [open pdf - 4MB]
"U.S.-China relations have been remarkably smooth since late 2001, although there are signs that U.S. China policy now is subject to competing reassessments. State Department officials in 2005 unveiled what they said was a new framework for the relationship-with the United States willing to work cooperatively with a nondemocratic China while encouraging Beijing to become a 'responsible stakeholder' in the global system. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in December 2006 established a U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue with Beijing, the most senior regular dialogue yet held with China. But other U.S. policymakers have adopted tougher stances on issues involving China and U.S.-China relations, concerned about the impact of the PRC's strong economic growth and a more assertive PRC diplomacy in the international arena. Another matter of growing concern is China's increasing global 'reach' and the consequences that expanding PRC international influence has for U.S. interests. To feed its appetite for resources, China has been steadily signing trade agreements, oil and gas contracts, scientific cooperation agreements, and multilateral security arrangements with countries around the world, some of which are key U.S. allies. Taiwan, which China considers a 'renegade province,' remains the most sensitive issue the two countries face and the one many observers fear could lead to Sino-U.S. conflict."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33877