"Since the initiation of economic reforms in 1979, China has become one of the world's fastest-growing economies. From 1979 to 2003, China's real GDP [Gross Domestic Product] grew at an average rate of 9.3%; it is estimated to have risen by 9.1% in 2004. 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. Progress in reforming these sectors in recent years has been somewhat mixed. […] 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 to change various economic policies deemed harmful to U.S. economic interests, such as its pegging of its currency (the 'yuan') to the U.S. dollar and its use of subsidies to support SOEs."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB98014
United States. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers, Bureau of Public Affairs: http://www.fpc.state.gov/