China: The Balance Sheet
What the World Needs to Know Now about the Emerging Superpower

by C. Fred Bergsten and Bates Gill and Nicholas R. Lardy and Derek J. Mitchell
April 2006
Book Description

For centuries, China has proven difficult for Americans to understand. Today, however, China is becoming one of the most powerful countries in the world. As the 21st century unfurls, the stakes have never been higher for getting US policy toward China right.

The direction that China and US-China relations take will define the strategic future of the world for years to come. No relationship matters more—for better or for worse—in resolving the enduring challenges of our time: maintaining stability among great powers, sustaining global economic growth, stemming dangerous weapons proliferation, countering terrorism, and confronting new transnational threats of infectious disease, environmental degradation, international crime, and failing states. And for the United States in particular, a rising China has an increasingly important impact on American prosperity and security, calling for some clear-eyed thinking and tough economic, political, and security choices.

Put simply, the US-China relationship is too big to disregard and too critical to misread.

This book is a joint project between the Institute for International Economics and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.



1. Summary and Overview: Meeting the China Challenge

2. China's Domestic Economy: Continued Growth or Collapse?

3. China's Domestic Transformation: Democratization or Disorder?

4. China in the World Economy: Opportunity or Threat?

5. China's Foreign and Security Policy: Partner or Rival?

6. Conclusion: Toward a New United States–China Relationship





Advisory Committee


China: The Balance Sheet is part of the CSIS-IIE China Balance Sheet project. For more information about this project, please visit

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Book Data

April 2006
ISBN Hardcover 1-58648-464-8

Commentaries on This Book

". . . a very concise and useful framework for thinking about the Sino-American relationship and . . . the key challenges that we'll be facing. . . ."

Robert B. Zoellick, Deputy Secretary of State

"An excellent study of the outlook for Chinese national development and the likely future configurations of East Asian relations."

Foreign Affairs

"[A] comprehensive and penetrating analysis of the [US-China] relationship."

The Wall Street Journal

"[A] timely book...persuasively argues [that] it is America's interest to coax rather than confront China."

Financial Times

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