Success for the United States in the first half of the twenty-first century will be a function of the evolution of the Sino-American relationship. China's trajectory to world power transcends any analogy to the rise of Germany, the Soviet Union, and Japan in the first half of the twentieth century. In some ways, China's geopolitical challenges for the United States may be closer to the sum of these three former challenges. During the past year, the geopolitical stage was roiled by public disclosures that offered evidence that, during the 1990s, China has been solicited for financial donations by agents of the United States political system and has succeeded in obtaining nuclear technology from the United States through intelligence operations. The entrance of these dual villains, spotlighted by the U.S.'s tragic bombing of China's Embassy in Belgrade, provided an unsettling introduction to China's role as the primary United States strategic issue for the next generation.
These dramatic news elements cloud the reality that China's rise has been propelled by a constellation of economic factors: a sustained effort to achieve its goals of higher productivity and living