Author: Susan V. Lawrence
The United States and the People?s Republic of China (PRC) lead the world in the size of their economies, their defense budgets, and their greenhouse gas emissions. Both nations are among the five nuclear-armed, veto-wielding permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Many analysts see their cooperation as necessary to address an array of global challenges, including weak economic growth, climate change, and nuclear proliferation. Yet their differences on such issues as the South China Sea, cyber espionage, and human rights have increasingly tipped the relationship toward rivalry. In Senate testimony in September 2016, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter described China as one of ?five major, immediate, evolving challenges? to U.S. national security, the others being Russia, North Korea, Iran, and terrorism.