From the Summary: "Since the initiation of economic reforms in 1979, China has become one of the world's fastest-growing economies. From 1979 to 2007 China's real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average annual rate of 9.8%. Real GDP grew 11.4% in 2007 (the fastest annual growth since 1994). While China is expected to continue to enjoy rapid economic growth in the years ahead and could become the world's largest economy within a decade or so, it faces a number of challenges, including widespread corruption, an inefficient banking system, over-dependence on exports and fixed investment for growth, pollution, widening income disparities, and growing inflationary pressures. The Chinese government has indicated that it intends, over the coming years, to create a 'harmonious society' that would promote more balanced economic growth and address a number of economic and social issues. […] Concerns have also been raised over China's rising demand for energy and raw materials, its impact on world prices for such commodities, increased pollution levels, and efforts China has made to invest in energy and raw materials around the world, including countries (such as Iran, North Korea, and Sudan) where the United States has political and human rights concerns. This report provides an overview of China's economic development, challenges China faces to maintain growth, and the implications of China's rise as a major economic power for the United States. This report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33534