"Since the initiation of economic reforms in 1979, China has become one of the world's fastest-growing economies. From 1979 to 2005 China's real GDP [Gross Domestic Product] grew at an average annual rate of 9.6%. Many economists speculate that China could become the world's largest economy at some point in the near future, provided that the government is able to continue and deepen economic reforms, particularly in regard to its inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the state banking system. In addition, China faces several other difficult challenges, such as pollution and growing income inequality that threaten social stability. […] China's economy continues to be a concern to U.S. policymakers. On the one hand, China's economic growth presents huge opportunities for U.S. exporters. On the other hand, the surge in Chinese exports to the United States has put competitive pressures on many U.S. industries. Many U.S. policymakers have argued that greater efforts should be made to pressure China to fully implement its WTO [World Trade Organization] commitments and change various economic policies deemed harmful to U.S. economic interests, such as its currency policy and its use of subsidies to support its state-owned firms. In addition, recent bids by Chinese state-owned firms to purchase various U.S. firms have raised concerns among Members over the impact such acquisitions could have on U.S. national and economic security."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB98014
United States. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers, Bureau of Public Affairs: http://www.fpc.state.gov/