The concerns about whether the rise of China represents an opportunity for or a threat to the United States are played out most vividly on the economic front. Though an economic relationship has existed between the two countries since 1784 when bilateral trade was first established, it is only in the last 30 years, as China’s economy has grown at a scope and speed that is unprecedented in history, that the economic relationship between China and the U.S. has become a front and center issue in both countries.
Although the United States currently has the world’s largest economy of any country, a number of experts predict that China’s economy will surpass that of the U.S. sometime in the next 20 to 30 years. How did China’s economy grow so big so fast and can it continue? What are the implications of China’s economic growth for the United States?
This section takes a more macro view of the economic relationship between the U.S. and China while the details of the relationship – as embodied in the trade relationship between the two countries – can be found in the “Trade” section.