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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Relations With China

Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Fact Sheet
January 21, 2015


More information about China is available on the China Country Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States seeks to build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship with China by expanding areas of cooperation and addressing areas of disagreement, such as human rights and cybersecurity. The United States welcomes a strong, peaceful, and prosperous China playing a greater role in world affairs and seeks to advance practical cooperation with China. The annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) has served as a unique platform to promote bilateral understanding, expand consensus, discuss differences, build mutual trust, and increase cooperation. The strategic track of the S&ED has produced benefits for both countries through a wide range of joint projects and initiatives and expanded avenues for addressing common regional and global challenges such as proliferation concerns in Iran and North Korea, tensions between Sudan and South Sudan, climate change, environmental protection, and energy security. The United States has emphasized the need to enhance bilateral trust through increased high-level exchanges, formal dialogues, and expanded people-to-people ties. On November 10, 2014, President Obama announced a reciprocal visa validity arrangement with China, increasing the validity of short-term tourist and business visas issued to each other’s citizens from one to ten years, and increasing the validity of student and exchange visas from one to five years. The U.S. approach to China is an integral part of reinvigorated U.S. engagement with the Asia-Pacific region.

U.S. Assistance to China

U.S. assistance programs in China focus on four principal areas: supporting efforts on environmental protection and climate-change mitigation; advancing the rule of law and human rights; assisting Tibetan communities; and addressing the threat of pandemic diseases. U.S. support for transparency and governance crosses these sectors, supporting the development of environmental law, as well as a free, fair, and accessible justice system. Programs in each of these areas are targeted and directly address U.S. interests such as limiting the transmission of avian influenza, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases that pose threats to global security. Furthermore, such programs have been expanded with the addition of local Chinese resources, Programs in Tibetan areas of China support activities that preserve the distinct Tibetan culture and promote sustainable development and environmental conservation.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The U.S. approach to its economic relations with China has two main elements: integrating China into the global, rules-based economic and trading system and expanding U.S. exporters' and investors' access to the Chinese market. Two-way trade between China and the United States has grown from $33 billion in 1992 to over $562 billion in goods in 2013. China is currently the third largest export market for U.S. goods (after Canada and Mexico), and the United States is China’s largest export market. The stock of U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in China was $61 billion in 2013, up from $54 billion in 2012, and remained primarily in the manufacturing sector. During the economic track of the July 2014 S&ED, the two countries announced measures to strengthen macroeconomic cooperation, promote open trade and investment, enhance global cooperation and international rules, and foster financial stability and reform. For more information see

China's Membership in International Organizations

The People's Republic of China assumed the China seat at the United Nations in 1971, replacing Taiwan, and is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Over the years, China has become increasingly active in multilateral organizations, particularly the United Nations. China and the United States work closely with the international community to address threats to global security, including North Korea and Iran's nuclear programs.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to China is Max Baucus; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

China maintains an embassy in the United States at 3505 International Place, NW, Washington, DC 20008; Tel.: (202) 495-2266.

More information about China is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State China Country Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook China Page
U.S. Embassy: China
USAID China Page
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics International Offices Page
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information

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